Standard Water Requirements are important sustainable development indicator for every society.

Standard Water Requirements | Greensutra | India

This figure represents the Hierarchy of Water Requirements based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

There is a growing demand on the existing water resources which includes River Water Sources, Precipitation and Ground Water Sources. Thus the primary objective of a planned development is to provide adequate, reliable and good quality potable water. For this purpose, standards of water requirements were developed by national agencies.

It is very important to calculate the water requirements accurately to avoid failure in water planning, management and conservation. Standard Water Requirements are calculated per person per day. The basic factors that influence these requirements are:

  •  Human Consumption
  • Bathing
  • Flushing
  • Washing
  • Miscellaneous Activities

Other factors that also affect the requirements are:

  • Thermal and Physiological Stress
  • General State of Hygiene and Health
  • Climatic Conditions

Under normal conditions, keeping in mind daily basic activities, water requirement per person per day is shown as:

ActivitiesWater Requirement
Drinking07  l/p/d
Bathing20  l/p/d
Washing40  l/p/d
Flushing45  l/p/d
Miscellaneous23  l/p/d

*(where l/p/d = liters per person per day)

This totals up to 135 l/p/d.

This data is used as a reference to create more standards for various different configurations such as:

  • Residential Buildings
  • Factories
  • Cinemas/Concert Halls/ Theatres
  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Commercial Offices
  • Hostels
  • Hospitals
Building TypeDetailsCommentsWater Requirement  (per head)
Residentialfor population of 20,000 to 1,00,000
with full flushing system


population >1,00,000
with full flushing system


service connectionno flushing system


standpost connectionno flushing system40
Commercial-with flushing system45
Factories-with no bath30
-with bath45
Cinemas/ Theatres/ Concert Halls--15
Hospitalsutpo 100 bedswith laundry340
More than 100 bedswith laundry450


In India, the average domestic water consumption is 4.1% of the total water use. The Bureau of Indian Standards states that these standard requirements vary depending on several factors.

These standard water requirements are useful for:

  • Water Demand Estimation
  • Water Management
  • Water Conservation
  • Reducing Water Wastage


Reference Links:

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
  • Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF)
  • Data collected from Manual available here.
  • WHO Minimum water requirements during emergencies- Click Here.
What are Standard Water Requirements?
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What are Standard Water Requirements?
Are there any standards for water requirements? In this article, we try to cover the basics/standard water requirements for various set-ups.
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