Residential Water Use Background Information and Resources

According to Vickers (2001), total residential water use in the US is estimated to average 26,100 million gallons per day (mgd). The U.S. Geological Survey (1998) estimates that residential consumptive use represents 26% of total United States use and that 87% of this is supplied by public water sources. Residential indoor and outdoor water use is estimated to average 101 gallons per capita per day (gpcd), though this use amount can vary greatly by geographic region (i.e., MA @ 75 gpcd vs. CA @ 250 gpcd). In a typical American single family home, indoor water use averages about 70% of consumption, while outdoor use represents the remaining 30%. Again, however, these percentages vary depending on location. In the American Southwest, for example, outdoor water use often averages more than 50% of consumption. 


U.S. Geological Survey (1998). Estimated use of water in the United States in 1995. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior.
Vickers, A. (2001). Handbook of water use and conservation. Amherst, MA: WaterPlow Press.