The Ice Bucket Challenge – the charitable cause to raise money for ALS – is the current rage chilling American spines. The challenge offers participants two choices: 1) Donate $100 to help fight Lou Gehrig’s disease or 2) Dump a bucket of cold ice water over their heads. Many participants do both.
According to the New York Times, more than 1.2 million videos of people dumping water on their head have been posted to Facebook. I decided to calculate how much water has been consumed in the process.
If an average bucket contains 4 gallons of water, about 5 million gallons of water have dunked heads from coast to coast. That’s the equivalent of about 120,000 baths or, in weather terms, over half an inch of rain falling on a 300 acre slab of land. Think of a summer downpour dousing the National Mall, or for west-coasters, Disneyland.
(I used the U.S. Geological Survey’s handy “How much water falls during a storm?” to conduct this calculation).