Water Use

To think about how much water we need and how much we use


Explore water use in your home and across the world.

Your Usage

Work out approximately how much water you use in a day, then try to estimate how many buckets it would come to. Making sure you remember all the different ways you use it: Washing your hair; brushing your teeth; drinking; cooking your food; watering plants and the crops we eat; having a shower; flushing the toilet, washing your hands. Now imagine having to collect all of that by hand.

A Bucket Full

Try lifting a bucket full of water and see how far you can walk with it. Use caution here as it is heavy – make sure you are picking it up properly by bending your knees and using your stomach and leg muscles and not your back to do the heavy lifting.


Many women and children in poorer countries have to walk several miles every day just to collect water, because they do not have a tap or pump near to their homes. In the UK, people use an average of 135 litres a day, whereas people in poorer countries use just 10. Find a 1litre bottle to see how much a litre is.

Watch the story of thirteen year old Ayesha who collects water for her family every day.

What things would you not have time to do if you had to collect all your own, and your family’s, water?
How can you reduce the volume you use?


Here are some things to think and talk about with your family:

What sort of things do you use water for?
How many glasses do you drink every day?
Why do people need to drink water?
Where does our water come from?
Is the water you get always clean? Would you drink it if it was dirty?
The average household in the UK uses 349 litres every day. Can you imagine having to collect that in buckets every day? What would you feel about that?
Many people in poorer countries do not have it piped to them and coming out of taps. Instead they have to walk to the nearest river or well to collect it, and then carry it back home. Their water may be dirty and unsafe, but it may be all that they have to drink and wash in.

Take it Further

If you enjoyed this, you might like to explore our activities and resources about the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

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