An adequate water supply is important in any home, farm or community. The water supply must meet the demands of domestic use, commercial use, industrial needs, agricultural use and fire protection.
Water is used in the home for a variety of purposes: cleaning, bathing, drinking and flushing wastes. The average person uses 50 to 75 gallons of water each day. Only about 5 percent of that water (2 to 4 gallons) is used for drinking and cooking. The highest percentage, 40 percent, is used to flush toilets.
All commercial establishments have some demand for water. Water may
only be needed for employee restroom facilities. Several businesses,
such as swimming pools and restaurants, have a high demand for water.
|Business/Institution||Water Use (gal/person/day)|
|Country Club (non-resident)||25|
|Service Stations||10 gal/vehicle/day|
|Motels||40 gal/bed space/day|
|General Commercial||45 gal/employee/day|
Industries have varying water demands. All industries need some water
for employee restroom facilities. In addition, industries may use
water for production, cleaning or cooling. Food processing, energy
production, brewing and bottling, for example, all have a high demand
|Industry||Water Use (gal/employee/day)|
|Apparel and other textile products||24|
|Chemical and allied products||1,068|
|Electronic and other electric equipment||216|
|Fabricated metal products||378|
|Food and kindred products||843|
|Furniture and fixtures||149|
|Industrial machinery and equipment||184|
|Instruments and related products||116|
|Lumber and wood products||651|
|Miscellaneous manufacturing industries||213|
|Paper and allied products||2,944|
|Petroleum and coal products||1,852|
|Primary metal industries||584|
|Printing and publishing||38|
|Rubber and miscellaneous plastics products||323|
|Stone, clay and glass products||413|
|Textile mill products||512|
Providing adequate water to fight a fire is a challenge for any water system. The system must provide a significant volume of water at a reasonable flow rate. For a small community, a minimum of 500 gallons per minute must be provided for at least 2 hours. This is a total of 60,000 gallons of water. Remote homes and farms also need fire protection. A minimum of 10 gallons per minute must be provide for at least 2 hours. This is a total of 1,200 gallons.
Agriculture depends on quality water. Livestock operations need
drinking water and water to clean equipment. Nursery and greenhouse
operations need water to irrigate plants. In Ohio, some specialty
field crops, mostly fruits and vegetables, need supplemental water to
irrigate during droughts. Specialty crops also use water for frost
|Animal||Water Use (gal/ animal /day)|
|Dry cow or steer||12|
|Horse or pony||12|
|Sheep or goat||2|
|Milking center cleaning||4-10 per cow|
All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.
Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.
TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868