Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Between the water fountains, the regular fountains, the pools, the water rides and well, that [No privacy at all around this place!] it's no surprise that Disney World goes through a lot of water on any given day. But just how much water is used at Walt Disney World? To cut straight to the chase, a lot. According to the Reedy Creek Improvement District's 2017 Utilities Report, the district used nearly six billion gallons of water that year. That averages out to around 16.1 million gallons every single day. So how do we know this and what does this figure account for? Well if you've watched my past videos on how much waste is generated at Disney and how much electricity is used, you can probably skip ahead a little bit, because the story is essentially the same. The reason we know this figure is because of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Back in the 1960s when Disney World was still just an idea, it was intended to be a lot more than just a vacation destination. Walt had plans for EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It was going to be a real inhabited city that would remain on the cutting edge of progress, to serve as an example of what other cities around the world could achieve themselves. In order to do that, Disney needed the autonomy that would allow them to pursue brand new and experimental methods of construction and governance that traditional red tape would otherwise hold back. That's where the Reedy Creek Improvement District came in. I have another video all about the District that goes into more depth, but the short version is that the district was formed to fit the land that Disney owned so that they would effectively have control over the jurisdiction. In other words while Disney technically doesn't own the Reedy Creek Improvement District, it is essentially controlled by them and represents their Florida land. So these utility figures encompass all of their land, and not much else. That means that this 5.9 billion gallons covers a lot. Everything from the tap water to the fountains and pools to water rides to toilet water and sprinkler systems. Even the water used in all of the behind-the-scenes buildings across the entire property is accounted for. Pumping that much water is no easy task. Reedy Creek is permitted to draw from 8 water wells that tap into the upper Floridan Aquifer, and they use four water pumping stations that have a collective capacity of 59 million gallons per day which then distributes the water through over 70 miles of pipe. On top of that they have five above ground water storage tanks that, together, can hold over 7 million gallons of water. This is their backup water that they'll tap into for the few times where the demand surpasses the water pump capacity. This, as you might expect, is more likely to happen during the hotter summer months. For instance last June they were averaging around 20 million gallons a day rather than the annual average of 16 million gallons per day. Now about that number. 16.1 million gallons of water a day. What does that look like? Just how much water is that? Well, since apparently everybody likes to use olympic sized swimming pools as a unit of measurement, that amounts to 24 and a half olympic sized swimming pools. To use a more relevant comparison, and to also highlight just how massive these tanks are, the daily water usage at Walt Disney World would fill up the salt water tanks at the Seas in Epcot 2.8 times. Lastly, to use a completely ridiculous comparison, if you were to take all of that water and put them in your standard bottle of water, it would fill 122.6 million bottles. At Disney prices that many water bottles would cost you nearly 370 million dollars. So what happens to all of this water? Beyond what people drink, where does it go? Well Reedy Creek also happens to have a pretty powerful wastewater system that cleans and prepares water for reuse. While the district used 5.9 billion gallons last year, the wastewater system processed 4.8 billion gallons. The district uses over 60 miles of sewer to collect wastewater that then gets treated at their plant which is capable of treating up to 20 million gallons per day. In fact the system is so efficient that as of last year it has also been helping to treat wastewater from western Orange County while the county is building a new facility for themselves. Now that treated water becomes non-potable reclaimed water, which means it's not meant for drinking. While the water itself tests above the health standards of drinking water, it's still classed as non-potable since it carries a slightly higher risk of transmitting disease from that whole “waste” part of “wastewater”. So essentially Disney will reuse as much as it can for purposes that don't involve human consumption. For instance most of it is used for irrigating lawns, cleaning vehicles, street cleaning, fire suppression systems and, well, toilets. Like all of the other utilities on Walt Disney World property, Reedy Creek doesn't mess around when it comes to water. They know that while it may seem like just a vacation destination to us, it takes a city's worth of effort, planning, and most importantly people, to make it all work.