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13

The Plain Talk Series - #32

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Today's question: How much water does one person use each day?

Plain Talk answer: Most people in the United States drink about a half-gallon of water per day. The U.S. average is nearly 160 gallons (606 liters) used each day per person for all home uses. Total per-home water use includes law irrigation and washing clothes and dishes, as well as use in toilets, showers and baths. Of this, the amount used for cooking and drinking varies among individuals, from about 20 ounces to 2 quarters (0.6 to 1.9 liters). The average use is about 3 pints (1.4 liters) – around half as plain water consumed as a beverage and the rest consumed in other beverages (juice, coffee and so forth) and used for cooking.

Because of other community uses (e.g., industrial, commercial, schools, parks and firefighting), your water supplier pumps much more water than is used in households. A recent study of 1,100 U.S. water suppliers showed that to supply all the water needed for all uses, the average amount of water pumped is about 100 gallons (378 liters) each day for each person.

In Canada, the average total home water use is about 230 liters (60 gallons) for each person each day. The use for drinking only has been estimated at about 1.5 liters (1.6 quarts) each day.

For more information on this and many other water-related topics, check out Plain Talk About Drinking Water by Dr. James M. Symons.

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