Water use in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Fresh water, arguably the most important commodity in guaranteeing our continued existence and an essential part of our daily hygiene. In the United Kingdom, public sector expenditure on water supply had increased in the past four years. In 2018/19, spending peaked at 793 million British pounds. With the annual average consumer price index for water supply echoing that development, measuring at 103.5 in 2018. By comparison, the consumer price index for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels reached 104.4, having steadily increased in the past years.

In terms of water use in households, a household of one person had used an average of 149 liters per day, whereas a household of five tended to use an average of 523 liters per day. Regarding the average water consumption of household appliances, as of 2019 figures were highest for baths, with an average consumption of 80 liters per use. A flush of the toilet used up an average of 7.5 liters. As for the annual hydroelectric consumption, figures amounted to 1.2 million metric tons of oil equivalent in 2018.

The number of employees in the water supply, sewage, waste management and remediation activities industry has increased since 2008 and reached 169,519 people in 2016. In 2019, 10 enterprises in the water transport sector had employed more than 250 people.

The water collection, treatment, and supply services sector has generated an increasing amount of emissions. For instance, 791.2 thousand metric tons of greenhouse gases were released in 2017. Of these, carbon dioxide emissions made up the vast majority, at 781.6 thousand metric tons.

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Water use in the UK

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Household and industry water use and consumption




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