How Much Water Do Homes Use?

02 Jan 2018 8:22 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

Source: Eye on Housing

The residential sector accounts for less than 8% of water used in the U.S., according to a recent NAHB analysis of information published by the U.S. Geological Survey. The analysis also found that the average home in the U.S. uses about 260 gallons of water per day. 

However that amount can vary considerably. The survey also revealed a distinct geographic pattern with relatively low use per home in some upper Midwest and New England states, and higher use per home in the central South and West, especially in mountain and desert states. At the state level, water use per housing unit is positively correlated with average temperature and household size, and negatively correlated with annual rainfall. In short, homes tend to use more water in states that are hot and dry and have larger households.

Link to Residential Water Study

The average of 138 gpd for total indoor use is down from 177 gpd for the homes in the Residential End Uses of Water study released in 1999. The Water Research Foundation's analysis shows that, between the 1999 and 2016 studies, there was a statistically significant reduction in water used per household for toilets, clothes washers, showers, leaks and dishwashers. Among the major indoor categories, the only one not showing a significant reduction over that 17-year span was faucet water use. In most cases, the declines are easy to understand given efficiency standards for water using fixtures and appliances that governments began to implement in the 1990s.

Figure 3. Average Water Use per Single-Family Home

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