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Water Use Today

A piechart demonstrates the average American household’s daily water use.Water in Daily Life

In the United States, we are lucky to have easy access to some of the safest treated water in the world—just by turning on the tap.

We wake up in the morning, take a shower, brush our teeth, grab a cup of coffee and head out for the day. Water is an important part of our daily lives and we use it for a wide variety of purposes, but do we really understand how much we use?

The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors. Nationally, outdoor water use accounts for 30 percent of household use yet can be much higher in drier parts of the country and in more water-intensive landscapes. For example, the arid West has some of the highest per capita residential water use because of landscape irrigation.

The Water Around Us

Water also plays a big role in our local communities. Without water there would be no local business or industry. Fire fighting, municipal parks, and public swimming pools all need lots of water. An array of pipes, canals, and pumping stations managed by our public water systems are needed to bring a reliable supply of water to our taps each day.

Where does all this water come from? It starts out as rain or snow and flows into our local lakes, rivers and streams or into underground aquifers. You can learn more about water in your state, including how it is being protected and where your local drinking water comes from.

Understanding Our Own Water Use

An easy to way to understand individual water use is to look at your water bill—not just the amount due, but how much water you used. There's much you can learn just by looking at your bill. Does your water use increase during certain times of the year? How does it compare with your neighbor? Once you understand how much you use, the WaterSense calculator can help determine how much water your household could save if you switched to more efficient, WaterSense labeled products.

Industrial Agricultural Electric Water use Pie ChartCommercial, Industrial, Agricultural & Electric Water Use

Sometimes it's easy to forget that we also use water in ways we don't see every day. Water is used to grow our food, manufacture our favorite goods, and keep our businesses running smoothly. We also use a significant amount of water to meet the nation's energy needs.

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