Quest 2: A fair share

Start your Quest 2 investigation using this worksheet.

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How much water does one person need?

You think you’re pretty solid, but seven tenths of your body weight is water. If you lose one per cent of that water, you feel thirsty. Lose 10 per cent or more, and you risk death. Humans can only survive three days without water. We need to drink two to five litres of water per day to survive, depending on the climate and our level of activity. But not everyone has the water they need.

50 litres
It takes a recommended 50 litres per day to meet one person’s basic water needs.
95 litres
Half the world’s population uses 95 litres per person per day.
More than 200 litres
People in industrialised countries like New Zealand use more than 200 litres per person per day.
Less than 10 litres
People in water-stressed countries like Niger use less than 10 litres per person per day.

Basic water needs

In New Zealand the average person uses 227 litres:

Toilet 86 litres per day
Bathing & Hygiene 68 litres per day
Laundry 36 litres per day
Kitchen 32 litres per day
Housekeeping 5 litres per day


More than 70% of this is used in the bathroom. More than 20% is used in the kitchen and laundry.

Find out more

Answer four questions to find out how much water you use
Select Millenium Development Goal 7

Map showing Access to safe water around the world (print A3)