Taking a Closer Look at our Water Consumption

by | Nov 11, 2016

We recently started to keep track of our water consumption and we are a little bit shocked by the results so far! In October our average water consumption was 340 liters per day! This is clean drinking water of which a large volume is being used to flush our toilets.

We are a two-person household living in a rental house in a typical Dutch suburb. Unfortunately we don’t have a grey-water system and all the water we consume ends up in the sewage. As we are more aware of our actual water consumption we try to use less by taking shorter showers and by reducing the number of times we flush our toilets (only flush with #2….).

Average Water Consumption per Person

Now that we have a clear view on our own consumption we wondered if everyone consumes so much water. Well, according to various Dutch water suppliers the average person in the Netherlands consumes 119 liters of water per day. If that’s the case then we’re above average as we consume 170 liters per person per day. One explanation we have is that Astrid works from home. Looking at below illustration, the biggest consumers in households are showers and toilets and only 1% is used as actual drinking water.

Water Consumption per Person per Day

The average consumption varies per country. Above numbers are specifically for the Netherlands but they probably represent many (Western) countries that have similar lifestyles as the Dutch.

Looking at Alternatives

There are plenty alternatives available for the traditional water systems. Grey-water systems for instance, whereby you use the waste water from showering and clothes washing for flushing the toilets. One alternative that we are very interested in is rainwater harvesting. Why don’t we use free rainwater for flushing our toilets, washing our clothes and watering our plants? With the right systems, rainwater can even be used as drinking water! In the Sustainer Home that we visited a few months ago their only source of water is rainwater so it’s definitely possible! Right now we are working on an article that will look into rainwater harvesting in more detail so stay tuned!

Want to know more about our consumption? Check our utilities page!

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