It is estimated that one person on average uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water each day for indoor uses. The bulk water use goes to flushing toilets and baths or showers. Currently, we have toilets that use far less water than we used to have before.
One family can waste up to 180 gallons of water every week, which is enough to wash more than 300 loads of laundry. Similarly, it’s estimated that about 900 billion gallons of water are also wasted through leaks every year throughout the country, equivalent to the annual household water use of approximately 11 million homes.
To understand water wasted at homes, consider the following scenarios:
- If you can turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water each day, and while you’re shaving, you could save as much as 10 gallons of water per shave. Therefore, if you brush your teeth twice a day and shave five times a week, you could save about 5,700 gallons annually.
- If you let your faucet run for five minutes while you’re washing dishes, you can waste up to 10 gallons of water.
- Running a dishwasher when it’s full can eliminate one load of dishes in a week and can save about 320 gallons of water every year.
Presently, most local governments have adopted laws that require toilets, faucets, and showers that allow a specific amount of water to flow per minute. Some agencies in certain States often offer rebates to anyone who installs a water-efficient toilet.
If you plan to install these water-efficient faucets, you will realize that they have a fitted measure of water that you are likely to use in a given time frame. For instance, an indication like “1.0gpm.” Such a faucet is built to allow only one gallon per minute.
Indoor Water Usage
a.) In the United States, home water use from the tap, for the lavatories, and washing the dishes is estimated to be about 138 gallons for a single household every day, translating to approximately 60 daily gallons per person each day.
Much of the indoor water use in American homes is highest in the bathrooms which account for 24% of the total water used indoors, equivalent to 33 gallons per day in each household.
The second highest is water use in showers and faucets, each accounting for 20% of the total indoor water use, translating to about 27 gallons per household each day.
It is followed by washing machines that account for 16% of the total indoor water use translating to 22 gallons per household each day.
More surprising is that the water lost through leaks, which account for 13% of the total water used indoors, translates to about 18 gallons per household each day.
Dishwashers account for the least indoor water use and account for 2% of the total water use translating to about 2 gallons per household each day.
b.) Toilets are the leading water-consuming points in American homes and can play a leading role in water conservation. Americans, on average flush toilets about five times a day, accounting for 24% of daily water use. There are many ways to conserve water use in toilets, ranging from changing habits to mechanical adjustments and replacements.
You can also reduce water consumption by fixing leaks, shutting off faucets, and replacing your toilets with a more water-efficient toilet system such as the WaterSense label.
c.) Americans use about 27.4 billion gallons each day for domestic purposes. This water is drawn from both the surface and underground. The water reaches the residents in two significant ways: through a public water supply system, e.g., a community tank or a tower serving around 25 homes, or through a self-supply system. More than half of the American population relies on underground water mainly for domestic uses. for
On the other hand, public supplied water may come from natural surface sources such as lakes, rivers, and cisterns, while privately distributed water is withdrawn from underground water sources. States like Hawai'i, Mississippi, Iowa, and Nebraska rely mainly on underground water.
Outdoor Water Usage
a.) In America, a household uses an average of 320 gallons of water each day, with 30% going to outdoor uses. Gardens and lawns consume more than half of the outdoor water use. Across the country, landscape watering consumes almost a third of the total residential water consumption, estimating to 9 billion gallons each daily. Additionally, it’s estimated that as much as half of water used for irrigation is again lost in evaporation and runoffs due to ineffective systems and irrigation methods.
To conserve water, you don't have to water grass daily. If the grass springs back when you step on them, it doesn’t require watering. Similarly, you can save water by using native plants and creating water-smart landscapes. If each household having an irrigation system hired a certified professional to carry out regular maintenance, water usage could reduce by 15% or about 9,000 gallons each year.
b.) Plants always take water from the soil to keep them healthy and productive. At the same time, it loses water through the tiny openings known as stomata. Plants will wilt if they continue losing water without replenishing it from the soil. Total water requirement (Evapotranspiration) refers to the amount of water evaporated from the soil and the water lost from the plant (transpiration). Evapotranspiration is affected by several factors such as the temperature, the length of the day, winds, cloud cover, mulching, relative humidity, type of plants, size of the plants, and the number of plants.
c.) Water drawn for human use can reduce water in streams and lakes and can potentially affect the aquatic flora and fauna. In the US, household water use accounts for about 13% of the total water used in the country. Although outdoor water use is nonessential for daily functioning, it accounts for about 30-50% of residential water use, which is equivalent to more than 7billons gallons.
Outdoor water use has continued to put pressure on water supplies. Outdoor water use during summer always accounts for the largest portion of residential water use.