Letters to the Editor

Get smarter about water

We all have to earn a living. Gov. Jerry Brown has required mandatory water restrictions to reduce water usage by 25%. No one is asking the producers of the foods we eat to produce less, yet many of us don’t know how much water is required to produce those foods.

I suggest we become acquainted with the estimates used by many online sources.

The average American shower lasts 8.2 minutes, using 17.2 gallons at a rate of 2.1 gallons per minute.

The following estimates involve water used to grow the tea, coffee beans, hops, wheat, barley or the grapes. Admittedly, there is a range so I’ll try to give an average estimate.

Tea requires 100-plus gallons of water for 1 gallon of brewed tea; coffee requires over 1,000 gallons; beer 290-plus for one gallon and wine 870 to produce one; milk requires the same as coffee, 1,000 for 1; for a hamburger, it takes 600 gallons of water to produce a quarter-pounder.

As is often said there are lies, damned lies and statistics. So the above numbers are ones frequently found and are reasonable ballpark figures and are “food for thought” that requires no water.

Lee Schilling