I want an analysis of daily water usage that breaks out the data by family type and size in the United States. (Although I am happy to get usage data by demographics for any part of the world if that is all that is available!)

For instance, the sort of thing I would like to know is water usage for a married couple in their 40's with no kids versus, say, elderly couples and singles. I would also like to know about differences in usage between professional couples (i.e. not home a lot) versus couples and families that spend most nights at home. Some of this I can adjust mathematically, but there are no baseline numbers, other than overly broad averages, that I can find.

What I generally find are averages that either state daily usage for an archetypical "family of four" or others that appear to use that sort of data to start and give a single "average use for one person" number. These numbers are overly influenced by default families that do not make up any portion of the population I am analyzing. I believe that family type and size will affect usage significantly.

A chart or (U.S.) EPA report or something with some connection between water usage and demographic composition of a (housing) community would be ideal. (Just to be clear, when I say community I mean a small clump of homes or condominiums, not cities or towns.) It is really important for the case that is being made here that the information be neutral, that is, not data provided by companies trying to sell water savings products and the like.


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    Like you I couldn't find anything more detailed than a state-by-state breakdown. It would be useful if you gave the links you have to date so people don't waste time looking at things you have already exhausted. For instance, environment.gov.au/node/22261 and water.gov.au/WaterUse/AustralianBureauofStatisticswateraccounts/…
    – Móż
    Nov 18, 2013 at 21:12
  • Fair point. However, I hadn't kept any real notes on the subject as I was not seeing anything that even came close to helping. I will update the question as I continue working. Thank you! Nov 18, 2013 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


There is this report that explores the water usage in the Sydney area. Especially the statistical tables in the appendix might give you the answers that you are looking for. They categorise the different groups of people into bins depending on their water usage in kL per year.

A couple of categories that fit your questions are:

  • single person, single parent, couple with children, couple without children
  • pensioner concession card (and thus probably retired)
  • number of persons/kids/adults per household
  • number of persons working full-time/part-time/staying at home
  • income classes

I think this should give you a pretty good idea what different households use.

The data comes from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales.

  • I am leaving the question open as I am still hoping for a more direct set of data (and, if possible, from the US). But this is the most useful stuff I have gotten so far, and I'll see what I can do with the appendices. Thanks! Nov 21, 2013 at 18:55

I can't find any focusing on USA data in a short search, but if you're looking for general use patters based on factors there are a number of data driven models available. They may be a good place to start looking- after all, they rely on data!

Household water use behavior: An integrated model

Classifying households for water demand forecasting using physical property characteristics

Urbanisation and Water Consumption: Influencing Factors in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona

In general there are a lot of factors contributing to water use. You need to control for things like gardens, swimming pools, and water price variations before you can really compare demographics.

  • Thanks for the link, but I cannot access any of those articles! Alas... Nov 30, 2013 at 6:23
  • You may try from your local library or university networks- they will usually have an academic subscription service.
    – Meep
    Dec 2, 2013 at 16:40

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