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How Does Your Water Use Compare?

  How Does Your Water Use Measure Up?


Do you know what YOUR “Water Score” is?

How does your daily water consumption compare to your neighbors?  If you haven’t ever calculated your gallons per capita per day usage, you may be in for a surprise! 

Daily water consumption can be measured in gallons per capita per day, or GPCD.  It is a measure of how much water one person uses in a typical day. 

So how does your GPCD measure up?

There are just a few simple steps to calculate your GPCD.

Step 1:  Looking at your utility bill, divide the total gallons of water used in one billing period by the number of people in your household.

Step 2:  Divide that number by the number of days in the billing period.  The City of Palo Alto Utilities bills monthly, so most billing periods are around 30 days. 

Step 3:  Congratulations!  You now know the daily average volume of water used by each person in your household.  The resulting number is your gallons per person (per capita) per day, or GPCD.

Quick Fact:  Many utilities bill water consumption in units of hundred cubic feet, or CCF.  You can easily convert from CCF to gallons by multiplying the number of CCF on your bill by the number 748.        

Example:  Your bill shows consumption of 7 CCF for one billing period.

             7 CCF x 748 = 5,236 gallons

 Why is this information relevant to you?

Knowing how much water you use is key to helping you understand how to most effectively manage your water use.  As the old saying goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”  Our state’s water resources are limited, so it is important that everyone take action to conserve and use water as efficiently as possible, even when we are not in a drought.

 How does your “Water Score” compare?

Now that you know how to calculate your GPCD, go have some fun with your friends and neighbors and see who has the best water score.  Is there anything you can do to improve your water score?

The City of Palo Alto Utilities offers many free services and rebate programs to assist with your water efficiency needs.  Whether you want to install low-flow water fixtures or re-landscape your yard for a more water-efficient and sustainable design, we’re here to help!  

How Can I Find Out More?  For information on our residential water efficiency programs or to find out about free workshops you can attend to get expert tips on indoor and outdoor water use efficiency.

How does our community’s “Water Score” compare?

Different locations have different water needs, based upon the climate and other household needs.  Compare the GPCD of several major metropolitan areas with our community below.

Average Daily Per Capita Water Use in Several Major U.S. Cities1

Metropolitan Area

GPCD

Phoenix, AZ

115

Fresno, CA

211

Memphis, TN

96

New York, NY

78

Salt Lake City, UT

180

Seattle, WA

52

Santa Fe, NM

68

Dallas, TX

57

Las Vegas, NV

110

Denver, CO

87

Sacramento, CA

280

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

97

San Diego, CA

143

Palo Alto, CA2

223

1) Data from Circle of Blue Water Pricing Survey, 2004 -2009.

2) Calculated from average water use over a baseline period from 1994 to 2004.
Data from the City of Palo Alto Utilities 2010 Urban Water Management Plan
 

 

Last Updated May 13, 2013