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Azhar Shahzad

Water Consumption - Classification and Related Terms

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Definition of Water Consumption (W.C)

It is the amount of water consumed by a community in one day. It is usual to express water consumption in litres/capita/day.


Average water consumption is usually 150 to 600 lpcd.

Classification of W.C according to Use

No. Purpose Use Quantity
1 Domestic Sanitary, Drinking, Washing, Bathing, Cooking, Gardening etc. ~ 50-250 lpcd
2 Commercial and Industrial Markets, Office buildings, Dental clinics, Private Schools, Garages, Workshops etc. ~ 12.2 cube m/1000 sq. m of floor area/day
3 Public Use Public buildings i.e. Tower halls, Jails, Schools, Street washing, public toilets, gardens + Fire fighting ~ 10-20% of total water supply
4 Unaccounted Loss of water through leaks, Unauthorized connections ~ 10-15% of total water supply

Terms related to Water Consumption

There are some important terms related to water consumption which are listed below,

  • Average Daily Consumption
  • Maximum Daily Consumption
  • Peak Hourly Consumption

1 - Average Daily Consumption

It is the average amount of water consumed by a community in one day divided by the number of people served.


2 - Maximum Daily Consumption

It is the maximum water consumption during any one day in the year. It is about 150 to 180% of average day consumption.

3 - Peak Hourly Consumption:

The peak consumption during any hour of the year excluding fire demand is called Peak Hourly Consumption. It is around 150% of the maximum daily consumption.

Ratios of water consumption used in Design

Most common ratios that are being used in the design of water distribution system for a certain community are as follows,

  • Maximum Day : Average Day = 1.5 : 1
  • Peak Hour : Maximum Day = 1.5 : 1
  • Peak Hour : Average Day = 2.25 : 1

The above ratios can be different depending upon the specific needs of the community and design criteria.

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