Starting the list of countries that most waste water, we have Canada. When adding the data of domestic water consumption with industrial and agricultural use, there is a waste of 2,333 m³ per capita, that is, the average Canadian uses enough water to fill 40 hot tubs, or 200 common bathtubs each year.
The volume of water consumed in Armenia increased between 2009 and 2017 due to the expansion of the public water supply network to rural areas. This means that, while Armenia’s population decreased by 7% in this period, the amount of water supplied to households increased by 75%. Its combined total water use value is 1439 m³ per capita per year; a lower total compared to Canada, due to the lower consumption of green and gray water from Armenia.
Green water represents water that comes from rain and accumulates in the soil. This water is mainly related to plants and is removed via evaporation and transpiration. Gray water, on the other hand, is related to the amount of water needed to dilute the pollutant and which returns to the system in the form of effluents.
3. New Zealand
Water use is high due to demand in agriculture, power generation and tourism. Thanks to the low numbers of green, blue and gray water in industry, households and agriculture, New Zealand’;s total water consumption is 1,589 m³ per capita, per year. Blue water corresponds to water that is taken from rivers, groundwater reservoirs and bodies of water.
4. United States of America
Domestic consumption in the USA can be attributed to easy access to safe and treated water across the country. Although consumption rates are high, public domestic water use has declined since 1995, partly due to improvements in infrastructure, better leak detection and greater consumer awareness of the problems caused by water waste. The USA has a total water consumption of 2,842 m³ per capita per year, with its green water consumption being the highest of the 7 countries.
5. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a good history of environmental conservation, however, with guaranteed clean water for all homes, it allows water to be more easily used. Its total water consumption is 1 490 m³, due to the low values of blue water, lower values of gray water, compared to the USA and Canada.
Panama is the largest consumer of water in Latin America. As its population and economy grow steadily, the country is likely to face more demand for new sources of water. The domestic use of water is also encouraged due to the low cost of water in the country. A significantly lower total consumption of blue water means that Panama’s total numbers are the lowest in this group of seven, at 1,364 m³.
7. United Arab Emirates
Concluding our list of countries that waste the most water, the UAE has the largest ecological footprint in the world, with water consumption growing significantly since 1960 (both due to population growth and high domestic water use). With the country’s water desalination plants burning large amounts of fossil fuels, its demand for water is also increasing its carbon footprint. The UAE has one of the highest total water consumptions in agriculture, household and industry with 3,136 m³, marking the highest score for all three types of water use compared to all seven countries on this list.
Tips to reduce water consumption
Check regularly for leaks in pipes and water connections, such as in dishwashers, toilets, washing machines, showers and taps.
- Avoid using dishwashers, as water consumption ends up being greater than necessary;
- Whether you are shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth, do not leave the tap running.
- Use the washing machine only when necessary, and if you are going to use it, remember to add more clothes at once to avoid waste.