Water futures are now traded on the stock market as a sign of the times, a sharp reminder of the need to save water and utilize it properly.

One of the most vital elements on the earth is water. It is required for the survival of all living things. We drink it, use it to make food, and use it for sanitation. 

Unfortunately, one-sixth of the world’s population lacks appropriate access to clean water, and every day, 2 million tons of sewage, industrial, and agricultural garbage are dumped into the sea.

This scenario is not due to a lack of water, but it is a problem with management and distribution. 

While some people have difficulty finding enough, others are wasting a significant amount of water.

The top ten water wasting countries, according to published reports by National Water Footprint Accounts, UNESCO-IHE 2011, are:

Table of Contents

1. China: 362 trillion gallons/year

One of the most polluted rivers in the world | Video Credit – South China Morning Post

Home to 1.402 billion population, China is the most water-wasting country in terms of wastewater generation,. 

In 2012, the country’s total wastewater discharge was 68.5 billion tonnes, which is comparable in volume to the Yellow River’s annual flow of 58 billion m3 per year.

In China, fifty percent of the population does not have access to safe drinking water, while two-thirds of the country’s rural population rely on contaminated water. 

According to the World Bank, China’s water pollution is such a concern that it could have “catastrophic ramifications for future generations.”

2. United States: 216 trillion gallons/year

Person washing fork
Person washing fork | Image Credit – Catt Liu

Home to 329.5 million people, the USA is second on the list of the most water wastage countries. 

The average American uses 82 gallons of household water each day (USGS, Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015).

Domestic consumption in the United States can be attributed to the widespread availability of safe drinking water, treated water. Despite high consumption rates, public home water use is on the decline.

3. Brazil: 95 trillion gallons/year

Home to 212.6 million, Brazil is third on our list. Water consumption for users supplied by utilities in Brazil is currently ranging from 95.3 liters per capita per day (state Pernambuco) to 254 liters per capita per day (state Sao Paulo).

Increased metering and a larger percentage of low-income users with low per capita water use may have reduced water use in Brazil.

4. Russia: 71 trillion gallons/year

Water for agriculture purposes
Water for agriculture purposes | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

In 2019, Russia utilized the most water for service water supply, totaling around 26.6 billion cubic meters. 

In comparison, roughly 311 million cubic meters of water were used for agricultural water supply.

Russia has one-fifth of the world’s freshwater reserves; however, this water is spread unevenly. 

As a result, the central and southern regions of European Russia, which account for 80% of the country’s population and economy, have only 8% of the country’s water resources.

5. Mexico: 53 trillion gallons/year

Wastewater in Mexico
Wastewater in Mexico | Image Credit – Flickr

Mexico consumes 12% of the world’s total bottled water volume. According to the World Bank, 80% of Mexicans have reservations about the water supply system.

This water is mainly used for agricultural irrigation and domestic use to a lesser extent.

6. India: 30 trillion gallons/year

Bucket of orange holi water
Bucket of orange Holi water | Image Credit – Flickr

The second most populated country and home to 1.38 billion; India is one of the most water wastage countries.

India needs or consumes almost 600 billion cubic meters (158 trillion gallons) of water every year. Aquifers provide 245 billion cubic meters of that total.

7. England: 20 trillion gallons/year

The average UK inhabitant consumes roughly 142 liters of water per day, with a total annual consumption of about 75 billion liters. 

Every day, the average household uses 349 liters of water. The average yearly metered water bill for a family of four is £427.

8. France: 20 trillion gallons/year

Production of hydrogen fuel from wastewater sludge | Video Credit –
Veolia France

Home to 67.39 million; France’s overall water footprint is 106 billion m3/year, equating to 1786 m3/year per citizen. 

The water footprint of French consumption is almost 30% higher per capita than the global average.

9. Canada: 19 trillion gallons/year

Canada posses world's largest freshwater lakes
Canada posses world’s largest freshwater lakes | Image Credit – Flickr

Home to 38.01 million; the water in Canada is well-known. After all, they have plenty of rivers, lakes, and even three oceans, as well as the world’s largest freshwater lakes.

The typical Canadian uses 329 liters of water per person, the average Quebecer 400 liters per person, and the average Montrealer 225 liters per person, according to the Ville de Montréal. 

Eighty-one percent when home water use is combined with industrial and agricultural water use.

10. Australia: 12 trillion gallons/year

Hydropower projects
Hydropower projects | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

The total amount of water used remained constant at 77,367 GL. The total amount of water consumed was 11,231 gallons. The average annual rainfall in Australia was 347mm, consistent from year to year.

Total water use remained steady in 2019-20, with industry use dropping while water used to create hydroelectricity grew. 

The restoration of all hydroelectricity water to the river system resulted in a decrease in Australian water use.

How to Slash Down on Your Water Use?

Check your dishwasher, toilet, washing machine, showerheads, and taps in the kitchen and bathroom for regular leaks in the water pipes.

Don’t let the water run while shaving, cleaning your face, or brushing your teeth. People visit the restroom on average five times every day, which means they wash their hands at least five times. 

To save even more water, consider switching to automatic taps, which turn on only when your hand is under the tap.

In addition to installing an efficient toilet, you may want to consider switching to a smaller flush tank and flushing with recycled water. 

For example, if you generally leave the shower running while it warms up, collect the water in a bucket and use it to fill the flush tank. 

Flushing accounts for about 30% of household water use, so use it only when nature calls — not as a garbage can for dental floss.

We should never rinse dishes before being placed in the dishwasher. Scrap any remaining food into the green bin and put it in the dishwasher. 

If you don’t have a dishwasher, promptly rinse your dishes in soapy water after each use, scraping any food into the green bin first. 

You’ll use less water and elbow grease because there will be less stubborn food to remove.


Many of the world’s most populous countries rank first in water consumption. China, India, the United States, and Brazil are the world’s most populous countries, ranking first, second, third, and fifth, respectively.

These water waste statistics are a clear sign of the hole we’ve dug for ourselves. This problem has a simple solution: if we all try to improve our water consumption patterns and preserve water, we might be able to address the worldwide catastrophe. Please stop wasting water.

(Last Updated on May 6, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Rishu Shakya, a bachelor’s degree graduate in Business Information Management, holds an extraordinary empathy towards mother nature and her ecosystem. She has always been captivated by green Earth and its charm. She regards spreading awareness about clean energy and sustainable development as her passion as well as responsibility. She believes her compassion about the Earth and human relationships will undoubtedly assist our planet to be a better place.