What would daily life be like if the water stopped flowing in our homes? Not very pleasant, as this brief video from The Water Channel shows in an amusing way. http://www.thewaterchannel.tv/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewvideo&Itemid=4&video_id=750
In reality things are unlikely to get this bad in the near future, at least in the developed world, but water shortages and even extreme droughts are no joking matter, and are becoming more common all the time.
There’s just as much water in the world as there has always been, but finding fresh clean water where we need it and when we need it is becoming increasingly more difficult, whether due to shifting climate and weather patterns, human impacts on ecosystems, development in arid areas, increasing energy costs or aging infrastructure. We can learn to use less (conservation behavior and lifestyle), and we can improve our water-using technology to get the same or better service from water while using a lower quantity (efficiency) .
How much water do we really need? Life, of course, cannot exist without some water. For humans to survive, we need, at a minimum, water to drink and water to grow food. Some would say water for hygiene as well, although people CAN (and MANY do) survive without flushing toilets or bathing, unpleasant as the thought might be.
In an article titled Basic Water Requirements for Human Activities: Meeting Basic Needs from the journal Water International, issue 21 (1996) by Peter Gleick, (available here: http://www.emro.who.int/ceha/pdf/Basic.pdf) the author advocates for a minimum of 25 liters per person (or about 6.6 gallons) per day, to meet basic human survival and sanitation needs. This does not include any water for food production, which is an entirely different and complex issue.
For the millions of other plant and animal species with which we share the planet , water is needed for the same functions. There is a big difference between the dozens of gallons we need daily for survival, and the hundreds or thousands of gallons we actually use daily.
How much water do YOU need?