Many of us are lucky to have easy access to some of the safest treated water in the world—just by turning on the tap. We wake up in the morning, take a shower, brush our teeth, grab a cup of coffee and head out for the day. Water is an important part of our daily lives and we use it for a wide variety of purposes, but do we really understand how much we use?

Estimates vary, but each person uses about 80-110 gallons of water per day. Are you surprised that the largest use of household water is to flush the toilet, and after that, to take showers and baths? That is why, in these days of water conservation, we are starting to see toilets and showers that use less water than before.

Many local governments now have laws that specify that water faucets, toilets, and showers only allow a certain amount of water flow per minute. You can calculate your water use here.

Average Water Use Per Person Per Day

A full tub is about 36 gallons

10 minute showers x 2 gallons a minute = 20 gallons

3 gallons per flush x 6-8 flushes per day = 18-24 gallons

A washing machine utilizes 15 gallons a load

Depending on efficiency of dishwasher: 4 to 10 gallons

Hygiene (washing face, brushing teeth, etc.) = 2.5 gallons

Drinking 8 glasses of 8 oz of water is recommended = 1 gallon

Fortunately, saving water around the house is easier today than ever before. Newer (low-flow) toilets, showerheads, tankless water heaters and faucets are designed to be more efficient than older models and can save your household gallons every day. For example, older toilets use up to 7 gallons per flush, whereas low-flow toilets use 1.5 gallons or less.

Likewise, older showerheads flow over 4 gallons per minute, while low-flow models can flow as low as 1.5 gallons per minute. Be careful whatshowerhead you purchase, though, because some fixtures, especially those with multiple nozzles, exceed the federal limit of 2.5 gallons per minute. If you use one of those, consider cutting back your shower time. 

In most households water heating is a huge energy user, after indoor heating and cooling, appliances, electronics and lighting. So sadly, long hot showers waste both water and energy! Although modern fixtures and appliances are a great way to save gallons, it’s still important to simply turn off the tap.By taking simple steps to reduce your water use at home you can save gallons, energy and dollars every day! To find lots of ways to save water and energy visit our energy saving guide here.