Water End-Uses in Low-Income Houses in Southern Brazil

Ana Kelly Marinoski, Abel Silva Vieira, Arthur Santos Silva, Enedir Ghisi

Knowing water consumption patterns in buildings is key information for water planning. This article aims to characterize the water consumption pattern and water end-uses in low-income houses in the region of Florianópolis, Southern Brazil. Data were collected by interviewing householders, as well as by measuring the flow rate of existing water fixtures and appliances. The results indicated that the shower was the fixture with the largest water consumption in households, i.e., about 30%–36% of total water consumption on average, followed by the toilet (18%–20%). The surveyed households consumed from 111 to 152 L/capita·day on average, based on different income ranges. No correlation was found between income and water consumption. The results of this study can be used to estimate the consumption of water for new buildings, as well as to develop integrated water management strategies in low-income developments, in Florianópolis, such as water-saving plumbing fixtures, rainwater harvesting, and greywater reuse. Likely, there would be a deferral of capital investments in new water assets for enhancing water and wastewater services by saving water in low-income houses.