How much water does my family use?

Objective: To learn about where tap water comes from and how much we use.

Click here to download a printable fact sheet for this activity.

Water from our taps often travels hundreds of kilometres from reservoirs in distant hills and mountains. Sometimes the reservoirs empty faster than the rain can fill them again. We can save water in the home, and catch it from our roof so there’s enough water for everyone, and our plants!

We’ll do some simple maths to find out how much water we use each day in the home – and how much water falls each year on the roof.

You need:
• water bill
• tape measure
• calculator
• bucket

Begin with a discussion of where tap water comes from.


How many buckets of water do you use each day in your home?

Part 1: How many days does the bill cover?
Take the example water bill. Find the number of days in the period, eg: a two month bill is usually 61 days, a three month bill is usually 91 or 92 days.

Part 2: How many litres of water were used in the period?
Find the number of litres billed for

Part 3: Calculate average daily usage
Divide the number of litres (Part 2) by the number of days on the bill (Part 1)

Litres used in the period = 22,295
Number of days in the period=91
22,295/91 = 245 litres per day

Q. How many buckets of water is this every day?
An average bucket is 10 litres. Ask students to calculate and draw the number of buckets this equates to per day. (In this example it would be 24½ ).