Going green News and events

155 litres a day

There’s a bit of fuss about the new water target of 155 litres per person per day.

(It seems particularly fussing were people on talkback radio with big families who couldn’t quite grasp that it’s per person not per household.)

I have an efficient shower head, and generally have sub-4-minute showers, and have a garden that doesn’t need watering — except the shower warmup-time grey-water which goes on the lawn. I don’t know how the nature strip and front lawn stay so green.

The car, naturally, never gets washed, though I occasionally use a little water to remove bird poo. The toilets are both dual-flush, though not particularly new/super-efficient.

Each week the washing machine runs perhaps 5 times; the dishwasher 2-3 times, hand washing the other stuff 2-3 times (though I confess recently I managed to go a full week without handwashing anything).

The result?

According to my last water bill, our household sits at 207 litres per day. Domestic arrangements mean there are 13 “person nights” spent in the house per week, so unless my maths is askew, that’s 111.5 litres per person per day. And that’s almost without even trying.

So a target of 155 per person per day? No big issue… at least, not for me. Though I’m sure it’s harder for households with thirsty gardens and where lots of people are at home all day.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “155 litres a day”

So – what about the water you use “away from home”?
During your time at the office – toilet flushing, tea/coffee drinking, etc.

You must have to add those on to your total to make it fair?

We’re pretty frugal as well – recycled bath/shower water to flush the loo, rainwater for everything in the kitchen (except the dishes). I haven’t checked our water bill, but I’d be interested to do the sums.

Well, in the terms of the new government target, no, they don’t appear to count.

But yes, in the broad scheme of my total water usage, I’d need to add them in… though I have no easy way of measuring them. (What does 3 x toilet and 3 x cups of tea equal?)

And what else do you add? Water included in food production and other goods and services consumed? I’ve got no idea how to add all that stuff up!

I have one of those water tanks that are useless and damage homes (according to the government), so the household uses about 230 litres of mains water a day for five people. Lucky the whole state doesn’t have water tanks or we wouldn’t need a desalination plant and the government would have to cancel a contract.

Why the government did not dam the Mitchell River, that continually floods Gippsland I will never know. We could have had billions of litres of water but instead we have to build a toxic sludge spewing desalination plant and take dust “water” from struggling farmers.

How on earth do we measure our water usage, our meters measure very differently?

Four in the house with a daily use of 160 litres per day for the household, whatever that works out to be per individual.
With a big vegie garden that gets watered from the water tanks, green lawn and thriving fruit trees from grey water and whenever the sky opens ;)

Not to mention how we’re all watching every drop but the north south pipeline is using drinking water to dampen dust so they can take water from a dying river…can someone point out the stupidity there?

Nick, the dams are ecologically damaging – almost as much as any desalination plant. I’d suggest we just roll out, on a massive scale, water tanks for all homes. We should also invest in recycling water more often like they do in Singapore.

Your blog post reminded me to change my shower head, Daniel. Thanks.

I live in a block of 8 flats where the water bill is divided evenly. I live alone but some flats have up to 6 people. Besides the fact that I am partly paying for other people’s water, how will anyone ever know what I actually use?

Ballarat has been on 150l/per person per day for some time now as well as being on stage 4 resrictions for a number of years now. We all seem to manage quite well. I do not know what the Melburnians a complaining about. Stage 3a is getting off very lightly. I think All victorians should be on Stage 4 regardless of where you live.

Hear hear Ballarat Resident! Our rural friends have such a greater grasp of the reality of the situation. I’m in Melbourne and can’t comprehend the thought of frittering away water as if it’s an endless resource. I’ve spent a good 12 months trying to drum the idea of water conservation into my thick-skulled flatmates and it’s only starting to sink in. When you boil it down (no pun intended), it really is all about attitude.

I am happy to report, Just recieved my water bill and for our household of 2 people, we averaged 248l/day over the 3 month period. (equates to 124l/day per person)

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