Work out your water usage

 Content Editor

It’s great to learn new ways to save water at home and to save water outside your home, but you can also monitor how much you’re saving, by working out your daily usage and comparing the numbers over time. It’s easy, quick and keeps you up-to-date with how you’re doing.

Make friends with your meter

By getting to know how your water meter works you can easily keep track of your consumption. This lets you check if your efforts to reduce the amount you’re using are paying off, and allows you to compare the savings on your bills against the costs of buying a water saver or other equipment.

Work out your family’s daily usage

Your water meter has two sections: the one before the decimal point gives you the reading for cubic metres or units, whereas the numbers after the decimal point records the litres you’ve used. Read the whole number, before and after the decimal point, to find your consumption in cubic metres.

To work out your daily usage, read the meter and make a note of the reading, then do it again at the same time a day later. Simply subtract the first reading from the second to show your usage for a day.

Work out each person’s daily usage

If the gap between the 2 readings is more than 1 day, you’ll still need to subtract the first reading from the second, but then this number should be divided by the number of days between the two readings to get your family’s daily consumption. If you divide this by the number of people in your family, you’ll know how much each of you has used on average.

For example: if you took the first reading on 1 March (1200.00) and the second on 31 March (1245.00), there are 30 days between the two dates, with a total increase for the period of 45 cubic metres.

Consumption is the difference between the two readings (45) divided by the number of days between the readings (30). So, 45/30 = 1.5 cubic metres; which shows the total used by the family each day.

If there are 5 people in the family, simply divide this figure by 5 to get the average usage for each person: 1.5 cubic metres / 5 family members = 0.3 cubic metres. This figure (0.3 cubic metres) is the same as 300 litres of water used by each person, each day.

Compare your consumption

In most developed countries, the average household uses between 150 - 300 litres for each person, each day. But don’t be surprised if your readings show a little higher usage; here in Abu Dhabi’s sunny climate we use a lot of water on things like swimming pools, washing cars and watering the garden. However, if your consumption is much higher than the average you may have a leak within your premises, so you’ll need to get a qualified plumber to check it out.

To gives you an idea of what you should be paying, use our Consumption Guide to compare your bill with the typical bill amount paid by people who live in similar homes to you.

Compare how much you’re saving

Now that you can work out exactly how much water you're using and what it’s costing, it’s easy to take regular readings and compare the results over time. All you have to do then is try different ways to reduce your consumption and monitor your meter to see what’s working and what’s not.