California needs at least 11 trillion gallons of water to end its drought. That's a whole heck of a lot of water. It's hard for us to think in terms of such amazingly large numbers, so maybe this page will help. Click on the items on the right to subtract their corresponding water usage from the 11 trillion gallons needed to get California's water supplies back to normal.
Clicks: 0
Minutes: 0
Toilets Flushed: 0
Dishwasher Loads: 0
Clothes Washer Loads: 0
Lawns: 0
Faucets Running: 0
Showers Running: 0
Sprinklers Running: 0
Hoses Running: 0
Almonds Grown: 0
Avocados Grown: 0
Sticks of Butter: 0
Pounds of Beef: 0
160 Acres of Grain: 0
160 Acres of Alfalfa: 0
California Agriculture: 0
Californias: 0
USAs: 0

California Drought Size

11000000000000 Gallons Needed
California Map
Toilet
5 gallons/flush
Dishwasher
10 gallons/load
Clothes Washer
45 gallons/load
Small Lawn
1,000 sq ft lawn uses 35,000 gallons / year
A Running Faucet
3 gpm
Running Shower
4 gpm
Single Lawn Sprinkler
5 gpm
Garden Hose
8 gpm
Growing a Single Almond
1 gallon
Growing a Large Avocado
220 gallons
Manufacturing A Stick of Butter
500 gallons
Growing a Pound of Beef
5,000 gallons
Growing 160 Acres of Grain
135 gpm
Growing 160 Acres of Alfalfa
460 gpm
All California Agricultural Usage
21,078,674 gpm
All California Usage
27,332,311 gpm
All USA Usage
246,527,778 gpm

11 trillion gallons is close to a whole year's worth of the 43 million acre-feet of water that California as a whole uses in a single year (that's a bit over 14 trillion gallons). So if all of California stopped using all water for one year, we would be in great condition. Obviously that is not realistic.

I hope the above helps people realize how major the current California drought is. The numbers are estimates. Clearly different model toilets, dishwashers, etc. are going to have different water usages. Because 11 trillion is so huge this page only takes one second to increment a minutes worth of water for the gpm categories. Otherwise you would be here all month waiting for the water usage to make a dent in the drought number. I did try to be accurate for the water usage numbers. Some of the websites that I looked at when searching for numbers include:

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.html
http://www.stormwater.cecs.ucf.edu/toolkit/vol1/Contents/pdfs/Water%20Conservation/Water%20used%20handout.pdf
http://www.acwa.com/content/conservation/californias-water-facts-water-efficency-gardens-full-bloom
http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/wuto.html
http://www.water.ca.gov/wateruseefficiency/agricultural/