What is the water consumption of French households in 2021?

Since the end of the 18th century, water consumption has been increasing.

From now on, all you have to do is turn on the tap to enjoy drinking water. Water is no longer used only for drinking: washing dishes, showering, toilets, swimming pools, watering the garden, etc. It has many uses, but it is still a rare resource that must be preserved. How much drinking water did French households consume in 2021? What consumes the most water? Here are all the answers to your questions.

Average water consumption for a French household: the figures to remember

In 1975, French people consumed 106 liters of water per day. Today, it is about 150 liters per person per day. These figures depend of course on several criteria:

  • an adult uses more water than a child, who needs only 69 liters;
  • a high standard of living leads to higher water consumption than for
  • a modest household, which uses an average of 90 liters per day;
  • an athletic person will have a high consumption (about 240 liters of water per day) due to an increased need for hydration and repeated daily showers;
  • Climatic conditions and tourist activity influence water needs and average domestic consumption. For example, the inhabitants of Nord-Pas-de-Calais consume an average of 109 liters per day, compared to 228 liters per day in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur ;
  • vacation periods see our average water consumption increase.

The different water points in a home

The main sources of water consumption are the shower and the household: they both represent 93% of our average consumption. For the rest, it is quite difficult to quantify precisely each point of consumption, since it depends mainly on the appliances used and the habits of each person. For example, the volume of water consumed during a shower varies according to the duration, the mixer used or the flow rate. Some washing machines or dishwashers are also more water efficient thanks to the “eco” program. On average, here are all the water consumption items in a home:

  • 7% for food and drink;
  • 10% for the dishes ;
  • 12% for laundry;
  • 40% for hygiene (baths and showers) ;
  • 20% for the sanitary facilities (count about 6 liters of water for each flush);
  • 6% for garden watering and outdoor cleaning;
  • 5% for the cleaning of the house.

This amount of water can increase considerably with possible leaks. A dripping faucet uses 4 liters per hour, or 35,000 liters of water per year!

What are the drinking habits of water?

The French are notorious for not drinking enough water per day: indeed, nearly 75% of them do not respect the recommended quantities! As a general rule, the French consume more water from the tap (66%) than from a bottle, for example (47%). This is due to consumer confidence in the quality of the water distributed, but also to the cost of bottled water. At work, however, the consumption of bottled water is increasing and represents 49% of employees.

However, it is well known that tap water can sometimes have an unpleasant taste: this is why the French prefer to aerate it in a carafe beforehand, or thanks to a filter placed under the sink, which allows to remove any chlorine smell. In recent years, filtered water using a carafe has been particularly fashionable in the consumption habits of French households. The use of tap water can also be seen in the consumption of sparkling water: rather than buying a pack of sparkling water, the French now prefer to consume sparkling water produced at home using tap water!

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The carbon footprint associated with the manufacture of the UV water purifier’s aluminum tube is neutralized in a few days of use compared to the equivalent consumption of water in plastic bottles.

How to reduce water consumption?

Thanks to a change in behavior and new eco-citizen reflexes, drinking water consumption has been decreasing for several years. We must therefore continue to act daily to preserve this precious resource. For this, a few easy steps can be taken:

  • repair water leaks: a flush leak wastes 220,000 liters of water per year;
  • use quick showers instead of baths to save 130 liters per shower;
  • water your garden in the morning or evening, when temperatures are low;
  • use a regulator on the taps and a dual control toilet;
  • renovate to replace an old water heater;
  • install a rainwater harvesting system for watering the garden or cleaning the car;
  • Opt for the “eco” programs of household appliances.

Finally, we must not forget electricity consumption, another expense item for French households. If it is important to preserve the longevity of water, it is also important to encourage the development of renewable energies, by choosing a green energy supplier! Online comparators such as hellowatt.fr are a good solution to find the right offer for your budget.

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