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How Much Water Do You Use?


How Much Water Do You Use? Here's Some Quick Numbers

How much water does it take to shower, brush your teeth, do a load of laundry?

ByJon Clift, Amanda Cuthbert / Chelsea Green Publishing

August 4, 2009, 9:00 PM GMT


Not showering every day? That’s awfully…European. Me, I’m addicted to daily showers. Especially in summer. I’m an American, and I can smell like honeysuckle-jasmine every goshdarn day if I want to. But there is one thing our fragrant friends across the pond have on us…on average, they’re using a lot less water.

How much water do you use? If you’re an average American, a lot. Let’s take a look at some numbers. Who knows? Maybe we can actually do something to fight water wastefulness.

Water. We all need it, we can’t live without it, and we are using more and more of it.

Although we appear to have plenty of rain in the United States, our water resources are under pressure. We use 127% more water today than we did in 1950.

Quite simply, we are consuming too much. Our demand for water increases yearly, to the extent that no matter what the water companies do, eventually they will not be able to keep up. Water also requires huge amounts of energy, both to treat it and pump it to our houses, so our thirst for water is damaging our planet in more ways than one.

Are you letting money flow down the drain? Find out how much water you use: how much is it costing you?


40 gallons

5-minute shower

10 gallons

5-minute power shower

20 gallons

Brushing teeth with tap running

2 gallons/min

Brushing teeth with tap off

.25 gallon

One toilet flush

3 gallons

Other water use (drinking, cooking, etc.)

7 gallons

Washing machine

40 gallons


10 gallons

Washing car with bucket

3 gallons


140 gallons/hour