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How Much Water Does the Average Household use per Year?

Water usage is a hot topic all around the world.  We’re being asked more than ever before to think about the ways in which we can save water and make a difference both to the environment and to our wallets owing to the significant savings we can make.

Before we start to plan water savings, however, we need to know where we’re using water around the home.  Here are the areas responsible for the greatest water usage in an average household of four, how much water they use, and tips to reduce your water consumption.

Toilet Flushing

This accounts for a huge 30% of water consumption in your home, which equates to approximately 135 litres each day.

The most common solution here is to buy a cistern controller, available in many forms or easy to make yourself, which can reduce your water usage by as much as a third.  You should also consider buying an overnight toilet sticker so you can see whether your toilet has a leak that is wasting water.


Depending on the water saving products you use, and your awareness of the time it takes you to shower, 12 – 25% of your daily water consumption comes from this area.  This means you could be using anywhere from 60 to 125 litres each day.

Low flow showerheads and flow controllers will make a difference to your consumption, cutting water use by as much as 60%, but the biggest difference will be you, and ensuring everyone in your house takes showers that are as short and fast as possible.

Kitchen Water Use

Your kitchen taps and dishwasher, if you have one, are responsible for 8 to 14%, or between 35 – 63 litres, of water each day.  Dripping taps can waste a huge amount of water, while doing things like washing dishes with taps left on, washing foods, and various other things quickly see your water use stacking up.  Factor in that the flow rate of taps can vary wildly, and be massive if you have a faulty valve, and it is difficult to know exactly how much you’re using or can potentially save.  Add in the washing machine, which can use as much as 20%, or 90 litres of water, per wash, and you’re using a huge amount of water in your kitchen, whichever way you look at it.

Making savings here offers many options, but again the biggest thing to do is look at how you use water and be more careful, particularly with leaving taps running unnecessarily and only using a half-full dishwasher or washing machine.  Elsewhere, use faucet aerators on your taps to reduce your consumption by as much as half, which in turn with you being more mindful will lead to a huge saving.

The Final 10% and Total

The final 10%, sometimes up to 15% depending on how you’re using water elsewhere, is used for drinking water and in the garden.  You have to drink water, so we aren’t going to tell you to stop, but you might consider a hose flow restrictor or a water butt to reduce what you take from your water supply for the garden.

In total, this adds up to 450 litres a day, on average, or 165,000 litres of water used every year by the average household.  While that is a scary number, perhaps the most frightening aspect of it is that we have the scope to reduce our consumption massively, yet so many of us fail to do anything about it.