Skip to main content

North America Residential Water Usage Trends

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


Declining household water usage has adversely influenced household water demand and wastewater volumes over the past several decades. Typically, utility officials attribute the decline in household usage to wetter weather, new water-conserving appliances, changing demographics, and classification anomalies; however, there is no clear understanding of the impact of these factors to the overall decline. Without a clear understanding of the changing water-use patterns, it is difficult to develop appropriate pricing structures to recoup costs and provide resources for the future

This study investigates historic trends in household water usage in North America and draws preliminary conclusions on the magnitude and causes of declining household usage. By focusing on: 1) understanding single-family household water-usage patterns and trends; 2) assessing the potential impact on water utility operations; and 3) providing data to be correlated with future trends for planning purposes. The study concludes that the decline in the number of persons per household and the increased penetration of low-flow appliances are the primary contributors to the observed decline in usage per household.

Keywords: Declining household water usage; declining household size; historic usage trends; penetration of low-flow appliances

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more