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2 Feb 2007

14 Oct 2020

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Domestic water consumption

See also "The water we drink"
Daily consumption in litres per capita
Country 2000 2018
UA Emirats Arabes Unis 500
US United States 295 400
CA Canada 326 310
CN China 230
JP Japan 278 215
AU Australia 268 180
CH Switzerland 252 180
SE Sweden 164 160
FR France 139 160
FI Finland 213 115
IT Italy 213
KE South Korea 183 180
GR Greece 175
BG Bulgaria 101 170
BR Brazil 155
PT Portugal 194 145
LU Luxembourg 150
EI Eire 142
AT Austria 153 140
UK United Kingdom 153 135
DK Denmark 159 131
ES Spain 200 130
NL Netherlands 129 130
DE Germany 129 115
CZ Czech Republic 95 115
HU Hungary 101 110
PL Poland 98 115
BE Belgum 112 95
IN India 25

Sources: Eurostat 2001 + IFEN 2002
2018 data: International Water Association

The data above are approximate: I consulted several sources, and there are wide variations between them. The differences between old and more recent data may be due to statistic methodology.

The consumption shown includes:

An interesting point: in France, the toilet flush consumes about 30% of the total volume. This is the area where consumption could be reduced considerably. The dishwasher consumes very little, much less than when you wash the dishes in the sink. Everyone knows now that a shower uses only a fraction of the water in a bath, a fourth or a fifth only, but little can be gained there as most people take showers and not baths.

It is not clear if your car washing or watering your garden are included in the above data. However, agricultural and industrial water use is not included (in principle).

A range of 20 to 40 liters of freshwater per person per day is generally considered to be a necessary minimum to meet needs for drinking and sanitation alone, according to Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. If water for bathing and cooking is included as well, this figure varies between 27 and 200 liters per capita per day.

In the OECD countries, the average domestic consumption is approximately 180 litres per capita and per day. In certain cities of the United States, the consumption average can be higher than 400 litres, whereas in many towns in Africa, the average is lower than 30 litres.

© François de Dardel

If you have clicked the icon on the top right of this page, you will have listened to a transcription by Liszt of Schubert's lied: "Auf dem Wasser zu singen". For more, see my dedicated music page.

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