General information

Water Use: Old Tech vs. New Tech

Your water footprint is the amount of water that you use in a day. Every person has a unique water footprint based on the ways water is used. One easy way to begin the process of calculating your water footprint is to look at your family’s water bill for a month. Divide the amount used by the number of days in the month and then divide again by the number of people in your family. You might be surprised at how much water you use in a day at home. The actual amount used per capita varies greatly from person to person, region to region and season to season. By installing more efficient water fixtures and regularly checking for leaks, households can reduce daily per capita water use by about 35%.

How much water does it take to…

  • Brush your teeth? – 3 gallons/minute before 1994 vs. 2.5 gallons/minute with a newer faucet
  • Wash the car? – 10 gallons/minute with hose running vs. 3 gallons/minute with a nozzle
  • Use the dishwasher? – 15 gallons/load before 1994 vs. 8 gallons/load newer model
  • Flush the toilet? – 5 gallons/flush before 1994 vs. 1.6 gallons/flush newer model
  • Take a shower or bath? – 5 gallons/minute before 1994 vs. 2.5 gallons/minute newer shower head
  • Run the washing machine? – 40 gallons/large load before 1994 vs. 25 gallons/large load newer model vs. 15 gallons/large load with newer model on most efficient setting.

Source PWET Activity Guide 2.0, ‘Water Audit’ activity, page: 478.

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