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Domestic Water Use

Map No. 324

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Water for domestic purposes includes drinking water, use for public services, commercial service establishments (such as hotels), and homes. 325 billion cubic metres of water are so used worldwide each year. The world average water use per person is 52 cubic metres per year.

There is huge variation in water use per person. Between 1987 and 2003 people living in Cambodia, where the majority do not have access to improved water supplies, used an average of 1.8 cubic metres of water each. People in Costa Rica used one hundred times more. The residents of Australia on average each use another 300 cubic metres again per year - much to water their lawns and fill pools.

"I remember when I was 14, carrying a 20 litre water can on my head, filling it from a river some thirty minutes away. When I came to Canada, I was shocked by the extravagant use of water here." Sieru Efrem, 2003

Territory size shows the proportion of all water used for domestic purposes that was used there.

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