Save like a Pro

Save Like a Pro

How does your water use add up? In EBMUD’s service area, a typical family of 3 uses about 280 gallons daily indoors and out. If you’re interested in watching your water use shrink, take these tips from the WaterSmart pros at EBMUD.

Step 1: Add up your water use.

This home water use calculator can help you determine where and how to cut back your water use.

It will take you 10-15 minutes to go through your home, and then to your outdoor landscaping, to calculate how much water is used where. After you get your results, find out how much water you should use by going to Step #2.

Step 2: How do you compare?

People in water-efficient homes typically use less than 280 gallons per day.

  • The average water use per person is about 55 gallons per day indoors. This does not include outdoor water use.

  • Super efficient water users dip down to 35 gallons per person per day indoors.

How do they do it? By choosing water-efficient appliances. Here’s a comparison:

  Typical 1990s Plumbing and Appliances Efficient Plumbing and Appliances
Shower 2.5 gallons per minute 18 1.75 gallons per minute 14
Toilet 1.6 gallons per flush 8 1.28 gallons per flush 6.4
Bathroom sinks 1.5 gallons per minute 4.5 1 gallon per minute 3
Kitchen sink 2.2 gallons per minute 11 1.5 gallons per minute 7.5
Clothes washer 40 gallons per cycle (top loader) 11.4* 12 gallons per cycle (front loader) 3.4*
Dishwasher 6 gallons per cycle 2.1** 3.5 gallons per cycle 1.2**
TOTAL 55.0   35.5

*If the average person uses the clothes washer twice a week, the figure above is the daily average of one week's use.

**If the average person uses the dishwasher two-and-a-half times a week, the figure above is the daily average of one week's use.

Step 3: Create an indoor water budget.

Multiply the number of people in your home by 55 gallons per day (GPD) to establish an indoor water budget.

# of people in the home X 55 GPD = your water budget

Feeling like a supersaver?

Try setting your goal for 35 gallons per person per day.

# of people in the home X 35 GPD = your water budget

Next, compare your indoor water budget with your indoor/winter water use. If you have an EBMUD account, check your January/February bill to see your average gallons per day (GPD) use this billing period and last year. Here is more information on understanding how to read your water bill.

If your winter water use, which represents indoor use, is higher than your budget, EBMUD can help you bring your water use down.

Step 4: Set an outdoor water budget.

First, determine the approximate square footage of irrigated landscape in 100 square foot units (10 feet by 10 feet).

Then, use the table below to calculate your outdoor water budget. Fill in the 100 square foot areas for lawns and shrubs. Multiply the number of 100 square foot sections of landscaping by the gallons per day multiplier in the table. Add the lawn and shrub numbers together. This is your outdoor water budget.

For areas East of the Oakland Hills:
(100 sq. ft. units)
(per 100 sq ft.)
Lawn   X 13 =  
Shrubs   X 8 =  
Total outdoor water budget =  
For areas West of the Oakland Hills:
 AREA (100 sq. ft. units)XGALLONS PER DAY (per 100 sq ft.)=TOTAL GALLONS per day
Lawn   X 12 =  
Shrubs   X 7 =  
Total outdoor water budget =  

To compare your outdoor water budget with your outdoor/summer water use, subtract your average winter use (step #3) from your highest summer average gallons per day (GPD) shown in a July/August bill.

If your summer water use is higher than the budget above, you have room to conserve.