Domestic Water Use Around the World Varies SignificantlyWater is the world’s elixir of life. However, a study commissioned by the Hansgrohe Group shows that water consumption varies significantly around the world. Although the amount of drinking water used in Germany has decreased greatly in recent years, average daily water needs are still very high compared to those of the rest of the world. But, in spite of the exceptionally hot, dry summer, Germany is still a long way from imposing the kind of mandatory water restrictions that went into effect in California and Cape Town this year.
Extreme Differences in Water Use Around the World—Germans Continue to Lower Consumption Rates
555 cubic metres—this is the average amount of water consumed annually per person in Western Europe. That’s quite a lot compared to Sub-Saharan Africa where average annual per capita consumption is 175 cubic metres. In global comparison, North America has the world’s highest consumption rates, ahead of Australia and New Zealand. Per capita usage is 1,629 cubic metres, more than in any other region on Earth, exceeding that of Sub-Saharan Africa nearly tenfold 1.
But studies also show that over the past 28 years per capita drinking water consumption in Germany, for example, has dropped by about 20 percent. In 1990, Germans used as much as 147 litres of drinking water per day; over the years, this figure has declined to 123 litres daily per person 2. About 36 percent of this is used for bathing and showering, putting Germans in the above average range. Americans use roughly 23 percent of their drinking water for personal hygiene; South Africans about 20 percent 3.
Water Restrictions Not an Issue in Germany
Germany has sufficient water resources despite the exceptionally long, dry summer—unlike California and Cape Town, where per capita water usage has been restricted by law since 2018. With a use limit of 208 litres of water per person per day—to be lowered to 189 litres in the future—Californians still have considerably more water than the inhabitants of Cape Town 4. Facing the risk of drought in February 2018, the government restricted water use in the South African capital to 50 litres per person per day 5.
Save Water with State-of-the-Art Products
Studies show that there are regions where water conservation really is important. But in Germany too, water and energy consumption can be easily reduced with innovative products by Hansgrohe. “Hansgrohe’s EcoSmart technology lowers water consumption in showers, taps and washbasin mixers by up to 60 percent compared to conventional products—without sacrificing design and ease of use,” says Jan Heisterhagen, Vice President Product Management at Hansgrohe SE. “And that’s good for the environment because the less water is used, the less needs to be heated and the less energy is used.” As one of the first companies in the sanitation industry, Hansgrohe has been producing water and energy-saving products since the 1980s and is committed to turning our daily interaction with water into a fresh and unique experience.