Sub Metering, utility costs

How Much Water Do We Use?

If you want to save water through a water management system, you may be asking yourself: how much water does my commercial building use? How about my home?

Here are a few water usage facts that may shed some light onto this question.

Water Usage in Commercial Buildings

According to RealPac Canada, the best practice range for water usage in the commercial sector is 12 to 50 L/ft2/yr. “If every building in the study met the high end of the proposed Best Practice Range (50 L/ft2 /yr), a potential water savings of 2.5 billion litres would be possible in Canada. In Ontario alone, the water savings would total 1.6 billion litres, and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions could total 240,000 kgCO2e/yr as a direct result of the reduction in energy needed to pump and treat water.”

It’s estimated in commercial buildings that each employee uses 59 litres per employee per working day, though the amount varies based on the age of the building and the climate at its location.

Water Use at Home

In Canada, our average water use per capita is 251 liters, which is one of the highest in the world. In the average home, 65% of this occurs in the bathroom, 10% in the kitchen, and 20% in laundry. In comparison, the US’s average water usage per day is 60 gallons (227 Liters). This is broken down into 64 gallons (242L) of water in the bathroom per household, 29 gallons (109L) of water in the kitchen per household, and 18 gallons (64L) of leaks! A leaking toilet alone can waste up to 200,000L per year.

In older homes without high-efficiency appliances, water usage is higher. Older shower heads can use 20L of water per minute, while new showerheads cannot exceed 9.5L of water per minute.

Significant amounts of water go into each load of laundry. Each load uses 94L of water, compared to a shower using an estimated 40L of water and a dishwasher load using 23L of water.

If you are a condo building owner, these numbers in each individual condo unit add up quickly. In some cases such as in the City of Ottawa, municipalities are moving towards a tiered system for water billing, which may base charges off of bulk meters.
It is important to closely monitor your water usage to keep your water bill down. Submetering is also an option to transfer the costs of water to tenants. 

In conclusion, water bills add up quickly, and it’s important to monitor each area of water consumption to reduce your overall water use.


The Connected Sensors team