EPA Water Facts

May 10, 2024 - In City Reports , Public Works

Summarization of document, download for full documentation

The document from the EPA outlines water usage, billing structures, and conservation tips:

Water Usage:

  • The average American uses 82 gallons of water per day, equating to 10,000 gallons monthly for a family of four.
  • Water usage varies by region due to weather patterns; drier areas use more water for irrigation.

Billing Structures:

  • Water utilities charge to maintain infrastructure and pay workers.
  • Rate structures include:
    • Flat Fee: Rarely used; charges a single fee regardless of usage.
    • Uniform Rate: Charges a constant rate per unit of water; promotes conservation.
    • Increasing Block Rates: Higher rates for higher usage; common in urban areas.
    • Declining Block Rates: Lower rates for higher usage; common in rural areas.


  • Water bills often combine fixed fees (infrastructure costs) and variable fees (usage costs).

Challenges and Consequences:

  • Water management is increasingly important due to population growth and aging infrastructure.
  • Many states anticipate water shortages within a decade.
  • Possible consequences include higher prices, watering restrictions, loss of recreational areas, and costly water treatment projects.

Conservation Tips:

  • Installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances can save significant amounts of water and money.
  • Simple actions like fixing leaks, running dishwashers only when full, and turning off taps while brushing teeth can save thousands of gallons annually.


  • Household leaks waste nearly 900 billion gallons of water annually in the US.
  • Outdoor water use can account for up to 60% of total household water use in arid regions.
  • Inefficient irrigation can waste up to 25,000 gallons annually per household.

For further information, the document provides contact details for the WaterSense Helpline.

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