How Much Water do People Use Per Year?

The average American directly or indirectly uses about 3,500 cubic yards (about 2,500 cubic meters) of water a year — about the same amount held by a standard Olympic-sized swimming pool. That breaks down to almost 70 gallons (more than 260 liters) per household per day.

More facts about water usage:

  • About one-fourth of each household's daily water consumption is used to flush toilets, and an additional one-fifth is used by clothes-washing machines.

  • The food industry also uses a lot of water. It takes about 25 gallons (about 95 liters) of water to produce 1 pound (0.45 kg) of wheat, and it takes more than 5,000 gallons (almost 20,000 liters) of water to produce 1 pound (0.45 kg) of beef.

  • People in China consume only about 900 cubic yards (about 700 cubic meters) of water annually, and those in Egypt, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia consume about 1,500 cubic yards of water (about 1,200 cubic meters) per person per year.

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