Did you know that 46% of people in the UK believe their household uses less than 20 litres of water a day? A further 32% of people believe that they use between 20 and 59 litres each day. That’s enough for a 3-minute power shower and flushing the toilet twice. No room for brushing teeth, washing up, washing clothes or even drinking your daily recommended 3 litres. The truth is that the average Brit will use 142 litres of water a day. Far more than most European countries who have similar climates. Of course, this gets worse in the warmer months. So, how many litres of water per day should we use? More importantly, what does that look like?
Water targets we can all reach
100 litres is the magic number and has been across the globe for years. It means that when water supply levels are difficult to distribute, we limit the pressure on water companies and there’s plenty for all. However, to reduce our daily totally by 42 litres isn’t going to be an overnight action and will take some time to figure out. But that’s what we’re here for!
If you take your 100 litres per day target and spread it across the week, you have 700 litres. Please note that this is per person in your household. So when it comes to things like washing your clothes and the dishes, you can spread that among your household’s daily water limit. For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to focus on how many litres of water per day a single person should use, and how.
What does a 100-litre target look like?
First things first, no two days will look the same. Sometimes you will need to wash your clothes, others you might run the dishwasher. It’s important to focus on the 700 litres per week figure so that you don’t restrict yourself every day and end up wearing smelly clothes or eating from the pots and pans because you can’t wash the plates!
Let’s take a quick calculation for the essential water usage over the week (per person):
- Two loads of washing
- Washing the dishes (once a week)
- Daily showers (using a power shower)
- Brushing teeth (twice a day)
- Flushing the loo (x6 per day)
- Drink 3L per day
All of this comes to 676.5 litres of water. It includes using a super-efficient dishwasher once a week (making sure it’s a full load), an efficient washing machine using 50 litres per load and only a splash of water for brushing your teeth. For your showers there are three 8-minute ones for the days you need to wash your hair or you’re extra sweaty and then four 5-minute showers for a daily rinse.
That’s it. Note how there’s no washing the car, no watering houseplants, no paddling pool being filled up and no water being used for cooking food and cleaning the home. Of course, you can make savings on this number. You may not flush the loo six times a day, or you might skip a shower one day or perhaps you’ve ordered a takeaway so there’s no need for washing dishes.
How to reach 100 litres per day
Small steps is the first thing we’ll say. If you leave the taps running while you brush your teeth, wash the dishes and wait for the water to get cold in order to drink it, you’ll be higher than the average 142 litre per day user. So, see if there are any utterly wasteful behaviours you can cut out now. Then tomorrow, you can make your journey towards 100 litre days.
As always, we’ve tried and tested a bunch of different ways to reach 100 litres a day. We can promise that once you get the hang of it – it’s totally doable. It’s worth noting that when the time came to replace appliances we have with water-efficient ones. This helped massively reduce our water consumption and saved on our energy bills too. But it was only when we could afford to replace appliances that we did.
We suggest you start in the shower. It’s the easiest way to save water simply because a power shower on average uses 15 litres of water per minute. Cutting off one minute will give you another two flushes on your toilet or another load in your efficient dishwasher. Think about getting out the next time you find yourself standing in the warm water simply because it feels nice.
So now you know that you should be aiming for 100 litres of water per day. How many litres of water per day should you try and save initially? Are you wasting water? Are you flushing floss down the loo and wasting 6 litres? Are you leaving the tap running while you wash dishes, wasting 6 litres per minute? Where will your water savings start? Let us know in the comments below and see if your household can reach 100 litres each per day!