Water Wastage : Most Common Causes

On an average, 1 person wastes somewhere between 0 to 45L of water everyday.

Water is used in every aspect of life. With this being said, water is also the most thoughtlessly used natural resource on this planet. Everyday water is wasted either knowingly or unknowingly.

Water Wastage | Greensutra | India

Millions of liters of water is being wasted every day and there are no regulations or policies taking actions to reduce the same. Headlines spanning a couple of years are proof enough of that :

Recent data reveals that a single person wastes approximately 0-45L of water per day. To put this in perspective, it makes up to 30% of standard water requirement per person per day.

While water wastage keeps on continuing, we have aggregated a list of the most common causes behind it.

Most common causes of Water Wastage:

Water Wastage | Greensutra | India

Flushing Systems

As unlikely as it may seem, this is a major cause in households, restaurants, multiplexes, offices etc. Flushing systems waste water in the following ways:

  • When disposing general waste, paper napkins and other bathroom waste via flushing, approximately 6 to 13 L of water is consumed. In other words, every time the toilet is used 6 to 13 L water is wasted.
  • Often due to faulty plumbing, there is leakage in the flush tank. This leads to automatic refilling of water and may also hear the sound of flushing. This may also be called Phantom Flushes.
  • Even today around 40% installments use older flushing systems. For every flush these systems consume 13.6 to 16 L of water.

Approximate water wasted per person per day= 13 L

Approximate water wasted per person per month= 390 L

Approximate water wasted per person per day= 4745 L

Running Water

1 out of 3 people keep the water running while carrying out routine activities. On an average, flow rate from a regular faucet is around 5 lpm (liters per minutes) and flow rate from a regular shower is around 10 lpm. This waste of water is the most neglected and common one. Some such routines that include wasting running water are:

  • On an average, brushing is a 3 to 5 minute activity. By habit, a lot of people keep the water running while brushing. So in perspective, keeping the water running while brushing wastes around 25 L of water.
  • Though showering takes 15-20 minutes, it does not amount for the extra time required for the water to be warm enough or when one is applying soap or shampoos.  This extra consumption of water is no less than 50 L of water per shower.
  • When washing dishes by hand, people have a tendency of keeping the water running. Wastage of water because of this is in the range of  20 to 60 L per day per household and is greater for restaurants and hotels.

Approximate water wasted per person per day= 30 L

Approximate water wasted per person per month= 900 L

Approximate water wasted per person per day= 10950 L

RO Water Purification

Purification of water has become imperative with the current decline in the quality of water. RO Purifiers are increasingly being installed to tackle this problem. That being said, all RO Purifiers produce waste water. Period.

Generally the RO Purifiers produce 60-70% of non purified water which cannot be used for drinking purposes. But this is not all. After careful monitoring of these systems, it was found that almost 20% of the purified drinking water is included in the waste water.

In simpler terms, we can say

Water Wasted from RO = 50% (non purified) + 20% (purified)

Lets put a perspective to the 20% wasted purified water.

The amount of water used by a family of 4 members, is 24 L/day. This value includes water used for drinking and cooking purposes i.e. the purifier provides them with around 24 litres of pure water every day.

Now, considering the 20% wastage, for 24 L/day the amount of waste water generated is around 4.8 L. So the amount of water wasted in that family per person per day is around 4.8/4 = 1.2 L

Approximate water wasted per person per day= 1.2 L

Approximate water wasted per person per month= 36 L

Approximate water wasted per person per day= 438 L

Negligence & Theft - Water Wastage | Greensutra | India

Negligence & Theft

As much as 22 to 25 per cent water is wasted during transmission and distribution or due to theft. A survey was conducted by the Municipal Corporation which reveals that water is being used illegally at several locations with no checks in place. Amongst the biggest defaulters are

  • Service Stations.
  • Owners of Small Eating Joints.
  • Illegal Establishments.

While Theft of water remains a pressing issue, high negligence towards water wastage is not far behind. To list a few:

  • Most societies and buildings let overhead tanks are left overflowing every morning. The flow rate ranges from 400 to 650 L. Letting the overhead tank flow for even 5 minutes results in wasting 2000 to 3100 L.
  • Many buildings have leaky and faulty pipelines. Even the distribution lines within cities have faulty plumbing. These are the reasons for constant wastage of water.


While the above mentioned are somewhat the major contributors to maximum  water wastage, here are few more common causes of water wastage:

  • Washing car with high pressure water pumps.
  • Using old and out dated washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Poor water management.
  • Serving bottled or packaged water at festivals or gatherings.
Article Name
Water Wastage : Most Common Causes
Ignorance and Negligence are the root causes of water wastage all over the globe. 1 person wastes somewhere between 0-45L water everyday.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo
Team GreenSutra®
Team GreenSutra®

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.