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Domestic Water Consumption
All around the world the water consumption per inhabitant is very various, for instance an American needs in average 500 liters a day, a western European 150 liters and a African only 50 liters a day.  Even if these differences tend to decrease with the time no one is equal in the water uses. Another difference is a consequence of the people's way of life, indeed in the countryside people uses less water than in the city. Another example is the age of people because younger and older persons use less water than the middle-aged person.

There are several factors to explain this discrepancy. The amount of available water is maybe the most important factor, for instance water is a very precious good in Africa because the water is rare. Another factor is the price of water - wealthier people are able to consume more water than poorer people.  

At home, drinking water represents only 1% or 2% of our total water consumption. The following drawing indicates some average figures of domestic water consumption:

In an industrial society such as the United States, personal water consumption is between 200 and 300 liters per day (Fetter, 1994). when the industrial and energy production usage is added in to the equation, fresh water usage exceeds 5,000 liters per day on a per capita basis (Fetter, 1994)."


In an industrial society such as the United States, personal water consumption is between 200 and 300 liters per day (Fetter, 1994). when the industrial and energy production usage is added in to the equation, fresh water usage exceeds 5,000 liters per day on a per capita basis (Fetter, 1994)."

Consider how much water is used when:

  • Cleaning our teeth - 5 liters each time you brush your teeth under running water;
  • Having a bath - 120 liters per bath;
  • Having a shower - up to 20 liters per minute (9 liters per minute using a AAA rated shower rose);
  • Using the toilet - 11 liters (each time you flush a single flush toilet);
  • Doing a load of washing - 150 liters per load (for a top loading machine);
  • Using the dishwasher - 35 liters per load;
  • Washing our hands - 5 liters each time you wash your hands under running water.


Baths vs. Showers

Did you know that one bath is enough for two 5-minute showers? A bath uses 80 litres of water compared to only 35 litres used by a shower.

Instead of using hot and cold valves - using water in order to 'find' your water temperature - install a thermostatic mixing valve. This allows you to set the exact water temperature whilst saving the water which is usually wasted while waiting for the water to come through hot.

Showers may have recycling features to recycle the water you use whilst showering.

Showers may also have on-off levers to make it easy to restrict the flow while you're soaping up, then allow the water to come through full force when you want to rinse off.

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