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Daily water usage per capita in the Netherlands 1992-2016

Between 1992 and 2016, the per capita water usage in the Netherlands decreased significantly, from 135 to 107 liters per person per day. Possible explanations for this could be the more-widespread adoption of water-saving equipment, such as water-saving shower heads and toilets, but also the increased awareness that the supply of water is not endless. In the same period, the average time people spent showering also fell, for example.

 Frequency of showering and bathing decreased 

  The time people spent in the shower was not the only figure that declined. In the last decade, the frequency of showering also decreased, from 0.8 showers per day to under 0.7. One might wonder whether people increased their bathing frequency instead, but the decline in number of showers was not matched by an increase in the number of baths taken. On the contrary, the bathing frequency decreased even stronger. Between 2007 and 2016, the average number of baths taken nearly halved.

Further household water usage

   The fall in water use in the Netherlands was not just a result of showering and bathing fewer times and for shorter periods. Although the number of washes done per person remained more or less stable in the period discussed here, the frequency of dishwasher usage for example also decreased, from 0.25 times per day in 2004 to 0.17 times in 2016.

Daily water usage per capita in the Netherlands from 1992 to 2016

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Release date

July 2017



Survey time period

1992 to 2016

Number of respondents

1,617 respondents

Method of interview


Supplementary notes

The survey consisted of three parts: an evaluation of the water using equipment at the participants' homes, a dairy research in which respondents filled in on a daily basis which equipment they used and for how long, and a questionnaire about drinking water usage.

* The figures for 1992 to 2001 are not corrected for water circuit breaker usage.

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