Amusing Monday: 20 questions about H2O

This week, I looked for some interesting facts about water and created the following 20-question quiz. Find the answers below along with the various sources of the information.

Image: U.S. Department of Energy

1. If an adult’s body is 70 percent water, what percentage of water is an infant’s body?
A) 60 percent
B) 70 percent
C) 80 percent
D) 90 percent

2. How much of the Earth’s surface is covered by water?
A) 60-65 percent
B) 70-75 percent
C) 80-85 percent
D) 90-95 percent

3) An average person uses from 80 to 100 gallons of water a day. Excluding lawn-watering, the largest water use by an individual results from:
A) Flushing the toilet
B) Cooking and drinking
C) Taking a bath or shower
D) Water fights

4. What percentage of the U.S. population gets its water from public water systems?
A) 55 percent
B) 65 percent
C) 75 percent
D) 85 percent

5. The largest ocean on Earth is the:

A) Atlantic Ocean
B) Pacific Ocean
C) Southern Ocean
D) Indian Ocean

6. What is the deepest spot in the Earth’s oceans
A) Arctic Basin
B) Puerto Rico Trench
C) Mariana Trench
D) Java Trench

7. On average, seawater contains what percentage of dissolved salt by weight?
A) 1.5 percent
B) 3.5 percent
C) 5.5 percent
D) 7.5 percent

8. The longest river in the world is the:
A) Yangtze
B) Amazon
C) Nile
D) Mississippi/Missouri

9. If water boils at 212 degrees F. at sea level, at what temperature does it boil at the top of Mount Everest?
A) 97 degrees
B) 119 degrees
C) 154 degrees
D) 190 degrees

10. Most of the Earth’s water is unavailable for drinking because it is in the form of saltwater or locked up in the ice caps and glaciers. How much is available for drinking:
A. 1 percent
B. 2 percent
C. 3 percent
D. 4 percent

11. Most of the Earth’s water is unavailable for drinking because it is in the form of seawater or locked up in the ice caps and glaciers. How much is currently frozen?
A. 1 percent
B. 2 percent
C. 3 percent
D. 4 percent

12. What state is the driest in an average year?
A) Texas
B) Utah
C) New Mexico
D) Nevada

13. It takes water to grow plants for animal feed, and animals drink water. Consequently, people who avoid eating meat and dairy indirectly use less water. On average, what is the daily difference in water use by a vegan?
A) 100 gallons less
B) 200 gallons less
C) 400 gallons less
D) 600 gallons less

14. How many gallons of water does it take to produce a gallon of gasoline?
A) 3 gallons
B) 7 gallons
C) 13 gallons
D) 17 gallons

15. Which of the following planets have the most water in their atmosphere?
A. Mercury
B. Venus
C. Mars
D. Jupiter

16. Greek philosopher Empedocles held that water is one of the four classical elements. Which of the following were NOT among them?
A) Fire
B) Wind
C) Earth
D) Air

17. Ice is lighter than liquid water, as shown by its ability to float. By volume, how much lighter is ice than liquid water?
A) 1 percent
B) 3 percent
C) 6 percent
D) 9 percent

18. Americans use more water than Europeans. How much more per person?
A) Twice as much
B) Three times as much
C) Five times as much
D) Seven times as much

19. Some people get their water from surface supplies, such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Others get their water from wells. What percentage of Americans get their water from surface supplies?
1) 51 percent
2) 61 percent
3) 71 percent
4) 81 percent

20. Three of the five Great Lakes bordering the United States and Canada make the top-10 list of the largest lakes in the world. What percentage of the world’s available fresh water are contained in these five lakes?
A) 5 percent
B) 10 percent
C) 15 percent
D) 20 percent


1) C / 80 percent / Source: 1

2) B / 70-75 percent / Source: 1

3) A / Flushing the toilet / Source 1

4) D / 85 percent / Source 1

5) B / Pacific Ocean, followed (in order) by Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean / Source 2

6) C / Mariana Trench / Source 3

7) B / 3.5 percent / Source 2

8) C / Nile, followed (in order) by Amazon, Yangtze and Mississippi/Missouri / Source 4

9) C / 154 degrees (conversion from Celsius) / Source 2

10) A / 1 percent / Source 5

11) B / 2 percent / Source 5

12) D Nevada, with an average annual rainfall of about 7 inches / Source 6

13) D / 600 gallons less / Source 7

14) C / 13 gallons / Source 7

15) A / Mercury, with 3.4 percent / Source 8

16) B / Wind / Source 9

17) D / 9 percent / Source 10

18) C / Five times as much / Source 10

19) B 61 percent / Source 11

20) D 20 percent / Source 11

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