Water… how much do we use? How much do we need?

Water… protecting our blood life

I have been looking at my water consumption over time, due to water (un)availability, mainly because of drought in some places and sourcing it in others.

The minimum that I can live with “comfortably”, to stay healthy and clean is around 11 litres a day or 76 litres a week (so we can round to 75 litres, the equivalent of 3 drums).

The breakdown is as follows:

Reason Per day Per week
Drink (water, tea, coffee) 4 28
Shower 2,5 17,5
Washing hand 0,5 3,5
Brushing teeth 0,25 1,75
Cooking 1 7
Dishes 1 7
Laundry 1.7 12
Total 11 76

One might notice that there is no mention of toilet… this is because when I have to be very careful as I need to bring the water, there are no flushing toilets… only a long drop dry toilet, so no water usage…

I worked on average and I do drink a lot of water per day (between 3 and 5 litres).

So for those who wonder how I use 1.7 litre for my laundry, this is only because I use 7 litres once a week (if I have the luxury, then I use up to 10 litres…) And then, I took into account the bedding twice a month, using 10 litres extra each time (so 5 litres a week on average). The laundry itself is a post on its own 🙂


One week of water for all usages – drink, bath, laundry, cooking, etc… (this is in addition to my normal 20 liters “backup”)

The difference between what we use and what we need can be great – and there are little things that we can do to minimise usage without being uncomfortable.

A “small” example is about brushing teeth – it might sound stupid, but overtime, it can make a significant difference in the amount we use… Every time I brush my teeth (twice a day ;)), here what happens:
-with a tap in no restriction situation: I don’t always use a cup. And while I switch off the tap during brushing, I rinse through running water, using between 500 and 700 ml (I did measure…)
-with a tap in restriction situation: I use the cup, and need 250 ml
-with a bottle: I use a 250 ml bottle and need 125 ml…

So, per day, this is 1 litre, 500 ml or 250 ml… over a week, this would be 7 litres, 3.5 litres or 1.720 ml.

And we could go on…

While I do not like using “only” 125 ml, and I do not do so if I can avoid it (when I have good access to water) – I can still only use 500 ml or less a day in a normal setting. And at the end of the year, this would be at least 180 litres of water saved… which can translate into 6 weeks (1.5 months!!) of drinking water or just over 2 weeks of my overall consumption in water poor setting… And this is only by being water conscious when brushing my teeth…

There are many other simple ways to save water…

I came across this average water consumption in an article about Cape Town drought, showing using between 7.5 and 20 L per day for brushing teeth… I really don’t know how…

Water usage USA

But you…

How much water do you use when you brush your teeth? Have a try and measure…

Water… Small savings to go a long way


5 responses to “Water… how much do we use? How much do we need?

  1. Pingback: Cape Town – Water restrictions… | mayandmeinafrica·

  2. Pingback: Water… Small savings to go a long way | mayandmeinafrica·

  3. Pingback: Water… protecting our blood life | mayandmeinafrica·

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