From 1996-1999, the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) spearheaded a study to determine how North American households utilize water around the house. The study discovered that the presence of teenagers tended to increase a household’s water usage, while the presence of adults working full-time decreased usage. Other findings include:

  • The households included in this study used approximately 146,000 gallons annually. Of this amount, 42 percent (61,300 gallons) was used indoors. The remaining 58 percent (84,700 gallons) was used outdoors.
  • In households not utilizing water-efficient fixtures, toilets used the most water on a daily basis (20.1 gallons per person per day). Clothes washers were the second largest water users (15 gallons per person per day) and showers were third (13.3 gallons per person day).
  • In households that utilized water-efficient fixtures, Clothes washers assume the role of top water user (15 gallons per capita per day), followed by faucets (10.9 gallons per capita per day), showers (10 gallons per capita per day), and toilets (9.6 gallons per capita per day).
  • Source: Residential End Uses of Water (Denver, Colo.: AWWARF, 1999).

Now, as so many areas of North America face serious water shortages and even drought, consumers can do their part to conserve precious supplies through small, thoughtful changes in their lifestyles and activities.

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