Water Facts

Water is a finite resource—even though about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than 1 percent is available for human use.

General Water Facts

  • At least 36 states are projecting water shortages between now and 2013, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
  • Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled while water demand more than tripled.
  • Americans use an average of 100 gallons of water per day at home.
  • The average household spends as much as $500 a year on its water and sewer bill and can save about $170 per year by retrofitting with water-efficient fixtures and appliances.

High-Efficiency Toilet and Faucet Factstoilet.gif

  • Toilets account for approximately 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption—by far the main source of water use in the home.
  • The average person flushes the toilet 5.1 times per day.
  • Did you know that flushing an old, inefficient toilet is like flushing twice? You could flush a WaterSense labeled toilet about 100 times with the water used to flush an older, inefficient toilet only 37 times (a little more than a week’s worth for one person).
  • If all older, inefficient toilets in U.S. homes were replaced with WaterSense labeled models, we could save 640 billion gallons of water per year—equal to two weeks of flow over Niagara Falls.
  • If every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled faucets or aerators in the bathrooms, it would save 60 billion gallons of water annually—saving households more than $350 million in water bills and about $600 million in energy costs to heat their water.
  • Using WaterSense labeled faucets or aerators could help a household cut nearly 600 gallons of water and 70 kilowatt hours of electricity used to heat that water annually. That’s enough water to do 14 loads of laundry and enough electricity to power a hair dryer for about 8 minutes a day for per whole year!

 Irrigation Facts and Tips

  • On average, a single-family home devotes at least 30 percent of its water for outdoor uses such as landscape irrigation, but that amount can be as much as 70 percent in arid regions.
  • Experts estimate that more than 50 percent of water applied to landscapes and lawns is lost due to evaporation, wind, or overwatering from improper irrigation system design, installation, maintenance, and scheduling.
  • The best time to water your yard is early morning, when winds are calm and temperatures are cool.
  • Grass doesn’t need to be watered every day; make sure your lawn really needs it before irrigating. If you can stick a screwdriver into your lawn easily—don’t water!

Household Water Facts & Tips

• Leaks can account for large amounts of water wasted in the home—more than 11,000 gallons per year for an average home, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool!

• A bathroom faucet can use 2 gallons of water per minute. By turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving, you can save up to 240 gallons of water per month.

• Don't use your toilet as a waste basket by flushing tissues. Eliminating just one flush per day can save nearly 1,300 gallons per year, or enough to wash about 32 loads of laundry.

• A family of four could save more than 2,300 gallons of water per year by shortening every shower by just 1 minute. That's enough water to run a dishwasher more than 250 times!

• Washing clothes is the second largest indoor water use, so be sure to wash only full loads. Eliminating one load a week this way can save 2,100 gallons of water annually. If every household in United States eliminated one load a week, it would save 190 billion gallons of water per year.

• Constantly running the faucet while washing dishes for 10 minutes can use up to 20 gallons of water. If you fill the basin with a few gallons of wash water and then rinse the dishes all together at the end, you could save 10 gallons of water.

• Learn more about WaterSense and water efficiency at http://www.epa.gov/watersense