How Much Water Does It Take To Do Different Things? – Water consumption

Water is so pivotal to our daily lives that a day can’t pass without making contact with it. Drinking, watering your small garden, bathing, flushing the toilet, cooking, etc.… these are just a few tasks that consume this precious commodity every day in our homes.

But have you ever calculated or estimated how much water you use in these tasks and many others? Calculating your water consumption can be very important in reducing water waste.

Based on a report published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average usage of water per family on a daily basis is 300 gallons. The average cost is $1.50 per 1000 gallons. Doing some quick calculations will show you that by the end of every month you will have used 9000 gallons. As you can see, water consumption per day can quickly accumulate. 

Quite high, right? Please note that in these calculations, I have assumed that you will be using way less amount of water. With that in mind, knowing the amount of water you use for various things around your house will help you manage how your homestead water, conserve as much water as possible (and ultimately cut down your water bills).

How Much Water Does It Take To Do Different Things?

1. Toilet

Yes, toilets account for 24% of all the water used in the home. Flushing the toilet uses more water per day than any other activity in your house. The older toilets use up to 7 gallons with each flush. Newer models are more economical to the point of using 1.28 gallons of water per flush. The American authorities are discouraging the huge wastage of water by older models of toilets. They have actually set the flush rate of every toilet to around 1.6 gallons per flush (the flush rate is measured using the Gallons per Flush, GPF).

Efficient toilets have a logo marked Water Sense. Assuming that you still use the old toilet models and you flush 5 times each day, you will have used 45 gallons. That is a single person’s toilet water consumption per day. If you live in a multi-person household, this figure is bound to rise significantly. The federal government is even offering rebates to those who install economic water toilets in their homes. Maybe you can take advantage of this offer.

Replacing older models with new more efficient ones is your best bet for saving water around the house.

2. Shower

white shower curtain on stainless steel shower head

As expected, the shower consumes up to 17% of all the water used around the house. The longer you take in the bathroom, the deeper the water bill digs deeper into your pockets.

Assuming you spend 8 minutes in the bathroom, by the end of your shower, you will have spent 17 gallons of water on average. This is a single person. Multiplied by the number of persons in the household and considering some may take more time in the bathroom, this figure will go up.

In addition, 17 gallons of water is an average amount. Some people have a habit to take baths more frequently. Calculate the amount accordingly.

How Can You Save Water in the Bathroom?

Here are a few ways you can reduce your average water consumption per day, just by altering your showering habits.

  • Switch off the water flow when lathering or shampooing yourself.
  • Make it a point to spend the shortest time in the bathroom.
  • Use showerheads that have the WaterSense mark. These heads are calibrated using the Gallons per Minute (GPM) unit. They also boast of the same or a superior shower experience as their standard counterparts. The standard showerhead gives 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • Try to bathe yourself more quickly. Don’t sit thinking about your life while water is flowing continuously.
  • To save water, you should use a tub or bucket to have a limited amount of water compared to taking a shower.

In short, try to use the minimum amount of water while doing anything in the bathroom.

3. Washing Machine

Another primary water consumer is your loved clothes washing machine; it accounts for 15% of all the water used around the house each day. Older models consume between 15 to 40 gallons per full load with newer more efficient models using between 14 to 25 gallons per full load. This includes the wash and rinse cycles.

That said, here are some simple tips on how to save water when using the clothes washer:

  • Make a habit of running your machine at full load at all times, even when you ought to run it half or lower load. This will save you more gallons of water than you can imagine
  • Invest in a newer, more efficient machine

4. Dishwashing by Hand

Hand washing consumes an average of 27 gallons of water per wash load. This amount is bound to increase depending on the number of people that are using the dishes and how frequently you wash the dishes in a day.

Moreover, some people wash their hands more frequently due to some allergic issues. They use more than the average amount of water. 

5. Dishwashers

blue and white cooking pot on stove

Although they save water more than washing the dishes by hand, they also consume a considerable amount of water during their operation – significantly adding to your water consumption. The most efficient models of using only 3 gallons per washing load with their older counterparts using more gallons.

 You can also save water if you don’t have a dishwasher by following mentioned tips below:

  • Try to wash your dishes with wipes. It will make water consumption relatedly low.
  • Turn off the tap while soaping your dishes.
  • Use a minimum amount of water to wash a dish. Don’t keep your tap running continuously.

6. Cooking

On an average estimate, 7 liters of water is consumed daily in our households. 

Water is the basic need of life for the growth of living things. Plants, animals, human beings all need water to survive. 

Similarly, our kitchens would be useless if there was no water supply. To cook food, you need water to wash, boil and cook the food.

One should use water carefully not to waste it.

7. Industries

 For your information, industries consume maximum water daily. Not to forget, they waste most of it too. According to a survey, approximately 15 billion gallons of water are consumed by industries in a day.

Industries make products for human consumption. And it requires a lot of water to make a final product. Whether it is your clothes or food, water is needed to make them. 

Here is a list of industries and their water consumption.

Textile Industries

Textile industries make clothes or fabrics. Water is used in washing, diluting, fabricating, processing, and what not? There should be a proper management system to save water.

Food Industries

You all love processed food. Right? Whether it is Doritos, chocolates, snacks, ice cream, or frozen foods, all are made by water. Food industries have been utilizing water for ages now, and still, there is no proper management system to lessen the use of water.

Potato chips are made in food industries; imagine beverage industries where the main ingredient is water. 80% of beverages are water, and the rest is pulp, sugar, additives, preservatives, etc.

Chemical industries

Chemical industries also have a fair share of consuming an excess of water. They are causing water pollution and affecting the health of people too.

Chemicals are made from water. Moreover, in the washing of bottles, in the processing of chemicals, and more.

Leather Tanneries

Yes, the bags, belts, wallets you carry daily with style are also made by using an excess amount of water.

 A considerable amount of water is applied to remove the dirt and debris present on an animal’s skin layer. Furthermore, in processing leather, until it turns into a final shape, water is used in every step.

Pharmaceutical Industries

Water is also consumed and waste in the making of medicines. During the synthesis of product, production of drugs, rinsing of equipment, water is used.

8. Agriculture

You all know how agriculture increases the economy of a country. Well, agriculture comes with a fair share of water consumption as well. You have to pay the price in return for something. Right? 

No doubt, being an agricultural country is a blessing, but it has some disadvantages along with.  

Excess of use of water is one of them. To get a massive amount of vegetables and livestock, you have to rinse land with water.

Agriculture is one of the significant reasons for excess water consumption. There are some types of agriculture in which consumption of water is high.

Types of irrigating the lands with water are as following:

  • Drip irrigation method
  • Sprinkler irrigation method.
  • Central-pivot irrigation system
  • Lateral move irrigation method.
  • Surface irrigation
  • Localized irrigation method.
  • Manual irrigation method.
  • Sub-irrigation method.
  • In the drip irrigation method, 20 liters per hour of water is used to irrigate the field. It is known as an efficient way to wash. Not to forget the amount of water is being consumed. Calculate the amount of water used daily accordingly.
  • In the sprinkler irrigation method, water and pressure are used to irrigate the fields and vegetables. A tremendous amount of water is consumed in this method too.
  • In the central- pivot irrigation system, equipment is in the Centre of fields, sprinkling water around the areas. When the gear rotates around its axis, water is splashed around in fields. Excess water is consumed and wasted as well.
  • In the lateral move irrigation method, a sprinkler is placed above the field with moving equipment. Water is sprinkled infield when the equipment starts moving along the way.
  • In the sub-irrigation method, to grow tomatoes, pepper, sugar cane, this method is used. More importantly, this method is not applicable in most regions.
  • In the surface irrigation method, to supply the water all over the field, gravity is used.
  • In localized irrigation methods, water is applied only in a specific region. As a comparison, this method is preferable because less amount of water is used.
  • In the manual irrigation system method, farmers supply water to fields manually by using pipes. 
  • Now, you can guess how much water is consumed in agriculture. Agriculture or cultivation is not only drinking a lot of water but also polluting it.
  • Various chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, and fertilizers are added to the soil. These chemicals are polluting water and affecting the health of citizens. 

9. Electricity

We all know from where electricity is produced, Dams. Electric power plants present at dams require water to get started. According to recent research, about 185 billion gallons of water are used per day to generate electricity.

We can’t live without electricity, so we should minimize water use and not waste it.

In addition, producing electricity can also affect the quality of water for human consumption.

10. Drinking

 Water is the basic need of life. Human beings and animals can’t survive a day without drinking water. Plants also need water for photosynthesis and growth.

On an average amount, people drink six glasses of water a day. Albeit, one should drink more than that. As drinking a lot of water helps you to glow more and have clear skin. It detoxifies harmful substances present in our bodies and keeps us healthy.

Bonus Tips for Saving More Water at Home

Fix all the leakages in your home water piping system. Leaking pipes around your home piping system account for more than 12% of the total water usage in your home. Leaking may occur at places where if you are not keen, it may go for years without being noticed. Piping that passes behind your house may be hard to detect if you don’t check it regularly.

Causes of Leakages in Your Piping System

Photo of Gray Faucet

1. Age

Old pipes will tear and wear over time and cause leaks in the system. Some of these pipes may be buried underground. This also causes corrosion.

2. Weak pipes/piping

If your pipes are weak, or the plumber you hired did a shoddy job, your system is bound to leak. This may be aggravated by the water pressure in the pipes.

3. Dissolvable materials

If hard undissolvable materials find their way into the piping system, they later cause cogging which in turn leads to leaking. The most likely entry point of these materials is in your kitchen sinks or through the toilet.

Methods of Preventing Leakages

  • Keep your water pressure at reasonable heights
  • Look out for leaks in your system
  • Know the layout of your pipes
  • Replace old pipes
  • Invest in a good leak management technology

Water Is an Essential Part of Life

We all are well aware that water is the basic necessity of life. Take a moment and observe your surroundings. Everything in this world consists of water. Microorganisms only grow when they have the appropriate amount of water present.

Science students know, enzymes only react in a liquid medium. The human body is 70% of water. In addition, cells, tissues, blood, plasma, fluids, everything is made from an appropriate amount of water.

Water is also known as a “universal solvent.” Water is the only medium used to transport substances, molecules, oxygen, and nutrients to a cell.

Water is an essential need as life starts in the presence of water.

Use of Water in Our Daily Lives

It would be unfair if I put a limited amount of roles water plays in our lives. But we will try to make it concise. 

Water is a vital need of everybody to survive in this world. You can survive without lunch, but not without water. Whether it’s an animal, a tree, or any other living thing, no one can survive without water.

Roles that water plays in our daily life:

  • To keep humans and animals hydrated.
  • Excretion of waste materials from our body.
  • Water maintains the homeostasis of the body.
  • Water is the only medium to transport nutrients in cells.
  • To take a bath.
  • It is in toilets for washing.
  • In handwashing.
  • In cooking.
  • To wash a car.
  • To generate a considerable amount of electricity.
  • To wash clothes and dishes. 

How Does Wasting Water Affect Us?

We all are consuming water in excess amount without thinking about saving it. Wasting a massive amount of water can put our society at risk.

When people use water excessively and don’t bother to save it, the water level at the reservoir becomes low. As a result, the environment, society, and human health are at risk.

Wastewater is also causing pollution; industries dumping wastewater directly into rivers affects marine life.

The number of pollutants is increasing day by day and causing illness to humans. For electricity generation, a massive amount of water is used to make a small amount of electricity. Wasting water in your households and daily life means you are wasting the source of electricity.

Imagine the Earth without water, and no one can survive afterward. Many rural areas of this world are deprived of water facilities. By saving water, we can give them this facility, which is the least we can do for people who live in underdeveloped areas.  

3 Main Reasons, Why Water Is Important in Life

Although water is one of the main reasons for developing life, here are the three primary and most essential reasons why water is vital in our lives.

  1. For survival, the human body needs water to stay hydrated, and it also helps to remove waste material from the human body as it is the only medium for transportation.
  2. A human embryo is formed of water, semen.
  3. Keeping in mind our current way of life, electricity is an essential need for us. Millions of industries are running on electricity which needs water to be generated. 

Disadvantages of Improper Wastewater Disposal

Garbage on Body of Water

Wasting water is creating many problems for us, and we are not taking this matter seriously. There are numerous disadvantages to wasting water. Remember that water is a finite resource.

Water pollution-the amount of water is depleting day by day, and there will be a time when people suffer from a lack of water.  Not only humans are getting affected by this, but also marine life. Several aquatic animals are dying just because of dirty water being dumped directly into the rivers.

When fishes eat harmful metals in the water, some of the residues are left in fishes which after that eaten by humans by eating fish—causing several various diseases to produce. Daily breakouts of diseases are being announced on national television. The leading cause of deadly diseases is polluted and unhygienic water consumption. 

Pregnant women are getting affected by a lack of water. They are not consuming proper water intake. Moreover, children under 5 are more vulnerable to diseases as their immunity level is low compared to adults. The reason is they are not taking proper intake of water and hygienic food.

Industries do not have a proper management system for waste disposal. Wastewater dumped into water is directly affecting many lives on Earth. 

How to Overcome This Situation

Well, if you are concerned about the situation of water being consumed in excessive amounts daily. We are here to help you! Here we are providing you instructions to follow so we as a nation (and the world) can live more healthily and happily.

To empathize is what most people lack nowadays. Think about those who are deprived of this facility and then use it accordingly. However, to overcome the situation of consuming an enormous amount of water can be done by using less water in your households. Do not waste water in homes by leaving the taps open and doing other house chores.

Governments should also take measures to suggest a proper wastewater disposal system. In addition, there should be a suitable system to recycle the wastewater to make it drinkable and usable.

Final Thoughts

The first step to managing the water usage at your home involves understanding how much water each of the water-consuming tasks uses. Our post above explains the amount of water used by the most common tasks around many homes. Hopefully, this info will be of great help to you as you embark on taking measures to reduce your monthly water bills.

Moreover, we all should take this matter seriously and show concern by using the minimum amount of water possible.

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