Edition 2023

Foto omschrijving: Woman taking a shower, photographed from above.

How many litres of water do we use per day?

On average, Dutch people used 129 litres of water a day in 2021. By far most of this water is used to shower: just over 46 litres a day. An average person in the Netherlands showers for just over seven minutes a day, six days a week. Flushing the toilet also costs relatively large volumes of water: 30 litres per person per day.

Hoeveel liter water gebruiken we per dag? How many litres of water do we use per day? Bath 5,3 Bad Toilet 30,2 Toilet Dishes 3,9 Afwas Laundry 17,5 Was Outdoor use 0,9 Buitengebruik Other 3,6 Overig Wash basin 8,7 Wastafel Handwashing 9,2 Handen wassen Cooking and drinking 2,6 Koken en drinken Shower 46,2 Douche

People in the over-65s age group use most water: 143 litres a day on average. This may be because many of them no longer work and spend more time at home. Children up to 15 years of age use least water: 102 litres. Men use about the same amount of water as women.

People who live alone use more water on average than those living with others. This is partly because they use water to wash or cook for just one person, not for a family. Average household water use is 275 litres a day.

Average daily water consumption per person (litres)
Categorie Groep Water consumption
Total , Total 129
Sex Man, Sex 128
Sex Woman, Sex 129
Age 0-14 yrs, Age 102
Age 15-24 yrs, Age 129
Age 25-44 yrs, Age 132
Age 45-64 yrs, Age 130
Age 65 yrs and over, Age 143
household, Household
Couple without
children, Household
Couple with
children, Household
household, Household

Young people shower most and longest

On average, Dutch people shower just under six times a week, and spend 7.4 minutes doing so. People in the age group 15 to 24 years shower relatively more often, on average even more than once a day. They also spend more time in the shower (8.4 minutes) than people aged 45 and older. Men shower more often than women, but spend the same time doing so on average.

Number of showers per week, 2021 (times per week)
Categorie Groep Number of showers per week
Total , Total 5.7
Sex Man, Sex 6.3
Sex Woman, Sex 5.2
Age 0-14 yrs, Age 5.2
Age 15-24 yrs, Age 8.7
Age 25-44 yrs, Age 5.5
Age 45-64 yrs, Age 5
Age 65 yrs and over, Age 5.6

How much water is used for showering also depends on the type of showerhead people have. Rainfall showerheads used more water per shower than normal or water-efficient showerheads. Nearly half of Dutch people have normal showerheads, nearly 39 percent have – or additionally have – a water efficient showerhead and 24 percent have a rainfall showerhead.

Three toilet flushes a day

After showering, flushing the toilet uses most water. On average people flush the toilet three times a day. Over-65s flush most, and women flush slightly more often than men.

An average 17 litres of water a day is used to do laundry. Nearly everyone in the Netherlands (98 percent) owns a washing machine. They do just over two washes a week on average, using 49 litres for each wash. The amount of water used depends on the cycle used and on the make and year of manufacture of the machine.

The Dutch use relatively small amounts of water for household cleaning (17 litres), watering houseplants (0.8 litres), and pet care (0.6 litres).


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
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Explanation of symbols

Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik, Janneke Hendriks, Richard Jollie

With thanks to Hendrik Zuidhoek


Annelie Hakkenes (final editing)

Elma Wobma (general project leader)

Erik van den Berg

Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

Michel van Kooten

Paul de Winden

Saskia Stavenuiter

Sidney Vergouw


Gabriëlle de Vet, Lieneke Hoeksma, Frans Dinnissen


Ronald van der Bie

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition.