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How much water do you use per day?

How much water does a person in the Netherlands use on average per day, what does it cost and how can you save on it? We looked into it.

Dutchman uses 128 liters of water per day

In the Netherlands we use an average of 128.1 liters of drinking water per person per day, but we only drink 2% of that! CBS calculated this on behalf of Vewin. Showering (46.2 liters per person per day) and flushing the toilet (30.2 liters) require the most water.

Because the figures over the years have not been measured in exactly the same way, it is difficult to draw conclusions. However, it seems that after an earlier decline, we have started to use more water again, possibly also because of the droughts. On average, 0.9 liters per day would be for outdoor use.

What does water cost?

Water in the Netherlands sometimes feels free, but it is not. We pay an average of € 1.21 per 1000 liters of water. Based on 128.1 liters per person per day, that is almost 57 euros per person per year.

A household of three people therefore spends 121 euros on water per year, but there is an additional amount of around 70 euros in standing charges.

The costs for hot water are much higher: a nine-minute shower uses an average of 65 liters of hot water. You pay 0.72 euros for a gas boiler and 0.84 euros for an electric boiler, the National Institute for Budget Information (Nibud) calculated based on the prices of July 2022.

Clean water for all

That is our mission and you can contribute to it in many ways:

Donate water to a person or familiy.
Offset your water use.
Tap chilled and sparkling water at work.
Order customizable sustainable water bottles.
Save on water in your hotel.
Serve locally bottled water in your restaurant.

What does saving water give you?

Suppose you structurally use 20% less water, then that will unfortunately only yield 3 cents per day or 11 euros per year.

Converted, however, a minute shorter shower already yields about 8 cents. That doesn’t seem like much, but if an entire family of five people does this for a whole year, it still adds up to more than 140 euros per year. If everyone takes a shower for a maximum of five minutes instead of an average of nine minutes, you will earn more than 500 euros per year as a family.

In 2022 we have seen that many families manage to save an average of 20 to 25% on gas. This is mainly due to the thermostat being set a degree lower, because hot water normally accounts for about 20% of the gas bill according to Milieu Centraal.

It is a trend among young people to take cold showers, that is also a option. Or to wash at a sink.

Puk van Meegeren, energy-expert Milieu Centraal, on

Is saving water necessary?

If saving on water yields so little, except for hot water, why should we do it? Don’t we have enough water?

The joint Dutch water companies warn us: in the Netherlands too, water is becoming increasingly expensive and ultimately scarce due to pollution, salinization and droughts.

So every reason to be careful with our water! What would it be like if not everyone in the Netherlands had access to safe drinking water all year round? This is a normal situation in many developing countries.

20 liters of water per day?

Access to clean drinking water is self-evident to us. However, this is not the case for 771 million people on earth – about the same as the entire European population. Fetching water is a full time job for them. Water that is often polluted, resulting in many diseases.

According to the standard of the United Nations, a minimum of 20 liters of water per day is necessary for a healthy life. Would you manage with 20 liters a day?

Why is lack of access to clean water problematic?

Water in hospitality

If you go out to eat, you may like to drink a glass of wine, but alcohol dries out and therefore requires more water to stay in balance. So opt for water with the wine and order a bottle of water, still or sparkling.

Unfortunately, in many cases this is spring water and that is not very sustainable because of the transport and waste. So go for restaurants with locally bottled water in reusable glass bottles!

Made Blue ambassadors serve sustainable water: wonderfully filtered, chilled and sparkling in beautiful bottles. Each bottle provides 1,000 times its contents of clean drinking water in developing countries. Check our map where you can order Made Blue.

Offset your water consumption

More and more companies are opting to compensate for their water consumption or to mirror the water savings of their product or service with the same amount of clean drinking water in developing countries.

We call that One Litre for One Litre. In this program you will come across companies such as Quooker, CWS, La Trappe and MAAS, but also various cleaning companies or office organizations. Will you join us?

Contribute to clean water for all

We are the Made Blue Foundation.
Our mission is clean water for all.
Will you help us achieve our mission?
You can do so in more ways than you might think.

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