Water consumption per day in India ! Rise due to COVID

Water crisis in India
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Water consumption per day in India during Covid has increased considerably viewing the safe operating procedures and guidelines advised by WHO and other health authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19. This pandemic has changed our lives wholly and it’s more been like staying with a virus like we did accept in previous pandemics.

The sweet water condition in terms of quantity in our country or as a whole in the world is also not good. Refer the article Save Water Save Earth to know more on this subject. Moreover the burden of extra cleansing of hands, or extra showers and washing of clothes after each time we come home, additional washing of fruits and vegetables, etc. have added to the crisis. The water crisis in India and even in the world is now a very serious issue which needs urgent attention.

Let’s know in this article the average increase in per person water consumption per day in India due to Covid situation. The data shall make this affect of this crisis more evident and factual other than it’s deadliness. Although sanitizers are being used but they are costlier than water and we do not sanitize our whole body instead of bathing or before eating food or using the washroom. We must awake now to think a positive way out for water management while fighting the pandemic.

Normal water consumption per day per person in India

The normal water consumption per day per person in India is about 135 litres. This is prescribed by the Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organization. This includes all the general requirements including drinking water requirements for an adult person. In India, usually in urban area, Municipal authorities as well as Public health Divisions take care of the water supply to household area as well as area in tankers where water supply grid is not available or not working to the needs.

This includes high rise apartments where many families reside at one place. Even many areas do not have easy available underground water through bore wells. Most of the bores do not work due to congested urban area as well as increased number of bore wells in almost every house. This was started and used to be permitted viewing the difficulty of authorities to meet the sweet water supply requirements to each home.

But now, this has in turn affected the underground water which is one of the sources of sweet water. India has an increasing population and a reducing water store. The process of rain water harvesting is also not yet widely adopted and still not mandatory for every house. For rural India, still tankers supply water or long queues to a single village open well or tube well. This is obvious not at all sufficient and people compromise to their requirements with minimum possible usage only for basic needs and no luxury.

water crisis in India- rural area
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municipal water tanker supply
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Water consumption per day per person during Covid

When we say that water consumption per day per person has increased during COVID, we are true. The only thing is the facts and figures may different from place to place. When we see WHO guidelines or from any health authority or ministry, we find washing hands with soap water is very cheap solution to prevent chances of getting the virus in addition to other measures including social distancing. A normal adult washes hands may be around 5-6 times a day- 3 times before and after meal and average another 3 times in wash room.

During COVID, the number of wash times has almost doubled for preventive reasons of course. Even, it is observed that washing hands with soap water requires approx half a minute to apply soap and scrub the parts of the hands deeply under tap water. That is a use of approx 3-4 litres of water with each wash. This means additional 25 litres water consumption per day per person only from hand wash.

Now, think about additional bath and additional washing of clothes which shall require a water consumption of around 2 buckets of water minimum. This means 30-35 litres. So, per day, the water consumption is now 135+25+35 = 195 litres per person per day. It shows an increase of approx 45% over usual per capita water consumption. So, what should be the solution to cater both the requirements to meet the water consumption per person per day in India as well as recharge the water wells in mass scale.

Water crisis in India- now and in coming future

water crisis in India
image credit: Deccan Chronicle- A satellite image of a lake in Chennai

The threat on large scale for a country like India

Sl. No.

Average water consumption

Per person in India

without COVID situation in litres

Average water consumption

Per person in India

without COVID situation in litres

Percentage increase %






Per day


135×30 = 4050

195×30 = 5700


Per month


135x30x12 = 48600

195x30x12 = 68400


Per year


For India with 130 crore population

The additional consumption comes to 25,74,00,00,000 kilo litres


Per year

water crisis in India and world
image credit: Geospacialworld

Water crisis in India- our efforts to sustain

The above are not a pure document but a mirror to the logical approach of understanding the water crisis we are leading ourselves into. We shall have no answer to our coming generations where they may have to fight for water, which means fight for survival. And this is not years far, it’s expected very soon. We often hear water crisis issues in general in different cities and even rural areas of India. With the additional consumption hike, the situation is expected to worsen if immediate steps are not initiated by authorities. You can read the article for rain water harvesting as a solution to recharging ground water. And even we, the common citizens of India must come forward and do our best to reduce our daily water needs to the minimum as possible. This is required to sustain life at least in a standard manner.

We are big country and the solution shall also has to be big. On one side we have a population who need to fight and struggle for meeting their daily water needs. On the other hand we have our urban world where water wastage is luxury. While you pay your municipal and water taxes, you see it as your right to use water as more as you can and at your ease and comfort. But very few look at it seriously and nature to use it judiciously. Through this post, I request all the readers to spread this message and advise your friends and relatives to act in a way so that the water wastage is reduced considerably. Do comment your views on this and spread as wide as possible through social media.

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