Is your home host to family and friends during the holidays? You may be surprised at a cost you weren’t considering – your water usage.

Estimates vary, but the average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day on an average day. Now, multiply normal water-using activities for every guest and you could be using a lot of water.

How much water is used during the holidays?

Using the U.S. Geological Survey Calculator, we estimated that the average family of four uses 395.8 gallons of water on a hypothetical average day.

But, if that same family of four had four more people visiting them during the holidays, the water usage drastically increases to accommodate the extra showers, cleaning up after holiday feasts, etc. Our calculator isn’t even accounting for the extra cleaning that happens before guests arrive!

Water usage doubled to 872.8 gallons on our hypothetical holiday day, according to our calculations.

We don’t recommend cutting down on the number of guests during the holidays, but a few helpful water efficiency tips can help you to use water wisely.

Water Efficiency Tips for the Holidays

1. Keep a water pitcher in the refrigerator

Guests often enjoy fresh glasses of cold water. Unfortunately, that can mean someone running the tap until the water gets to their preferred temperature. Avoid this by keeping a water pitcher in the refrigerator.

2. Use your trash can

Holiday feasts can mean the creation of a lot of waste. Instead of scraping off plates into the garbage disposal, consider throwing food waste out in the trash can. This reduces the amount of water running down the drain and decreases the risk of fats, oils and grease clogging the pipes.

3. Plug the drain

After a large feast, there’s often a lot of the three P’s – pots, pans and platters that require cleaning. Instead of washing the dishes with the water running, plug the drain and fill the sink full of soapy water to wash your dishes in to save water.

Don’t forget that many family members who live outside of California haven’t experienced the infamous California drought and may not be familiar with our water efficiency ways.

A helpful reminder about the benefits of saving water goes a long way to keep everyone aware, and maybe you’ll be giving the gift of water efficiency to your friends and family to take home with them.

Happy Holidays from your Water Company.