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Water Use

Water_Use_sprinklerWater use from year to year is heavily influenced by the weather. About half of residential water use is outdoors, and a hot, dry year can mean customers need to use more water than usual. Predicting the future needs for Denver Water's service area depends on growth in population and employment, improvements in water fixture technology, and changes to land use, among other variables.

Denver Water uses about 250,000 acre-feet of water per year, which is less than 2 percent of all water, treated and untreated, in Colorado. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons of water and is enough for about 2 ½ households for one year.

Denver Water’s total retail treated water use by category:

  • 48 percent single-family homes
  • 23 percent business and industry
  • 19 percent multifamily homes
  • 4 percent public agencies
  • 6 percent irrigation-only

Average single-family residential customer’s water usage: 

  • 50 percent outdoor use
  • 12 percent toilet
  • 11 percent shower
  • 9 percent clothes washer
  • 8 percent faucet
  • 5 percent leaks
  • 3 percent other
  • 1 percent bath
  • 1 percent dishwasher

One strategy to meet future needs — in addition to recycling water and building new supply projects  — is by conserving. Using water efficiently can stretch our supplies well into the future.