Daily Homestead Water Needs

Daily water needs for a homestead

As a homesteader I know that a successful homestead needs sufficient water to supply that homestead's water needs. If the property you want to homestead on does not have sufficient water your homestead will not be the successful homestead of your dreams.

How Much Water Is Needed Each Day?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Each person needs 55-80 gallons/day.

Each Milk Cow needs 35 gallons/day.

Each Horse needs 6-15 gallons/day.

Each Sheep needs 2 gallons/day.

25 Chickens need 1-3 gallons/day.

A 1000 square foot garden needs 70 gallons/day. (A 20' x 50' garden = 1000 square feet of garden space).

Water Used By Each Human

Taking a bath uses 30-40 gallons/day.

Taking a shower uses 20-30 gallons/day.

Washing 1 load of clothes uses 20-30 gallons/load.

Washing dishes uses 8-10 gallons/day.

Flushing toilets uses 4-8 gallons/day.

Meals and drinking uses 4-8 gallons/day.

Water For A Half Acre Garden (100' by 220' size)

This garden needs 1" of rain every 10 days.

This is the equivalent of about 11,350 gallons every 10 days.

This equals 1,135 gallons of water/day. That's a lot of water!

Water For Fruit Production

University of California Figures:

Dwarf Fruit Tree uses 6-9 gallons/day.

Semi-Dwarf Fruit Tree uses 12-18 gallons/day.

Full size Fruit Tree uses 38-56 gallons/day.

100 foot row of Raspberries 2 foot wide uses 25-35 gallons/day.

100 foot row of Strawberries 4 foot wide uses 50-75 gallons/day.

75 foot row of Grape Vines uses 12-20 gallons/day.

The Most Critical Element For A Homestead

It is easy to see why water is the most critical element to take into consideration when looking for Country or Homestead Property!

The figures above, give you ideas of how to markedly reduce the amount of water used.

These ideas would include; showers instead of baths for people as well as drip irrigation instead of watering with sprinklers or a hose for gardens and berry patches. When practical plant dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees instead of full size fruit trees.

As an example; 4 dwarf apple trees produce about the same yield of fruit as 1 full size apple tree yet only need 24 to 36 gallons of water per day instead of the 38-56 gallons of water one full size fruit tree needs.

So planting dwarf trees saves water and increases the variety of apples that can be grown in the same size space.

Homestead Example of Water Usage Per Day

Four person family (taking showers instead of baths) would use about 75 gallons/person/day = 300 gallons.

One Milk Cow = 35 gallons.

One Horse = 15 gallons.

One Sheep = 2 gallons.

25 Chickens = 3 gallons.

50' x 50' vegetable garden = 175 gallons.

10 Dwarf Fruit Trees = 90 gallons.

100 foot row Raspberries, 2 foot wide = 35 gallons.

50 foot Strawberries, 4 foot wide = 37.5 gallons.

37.5 foot row of Grape Vines = 10 gallons.

Total Estimated Daily water usage = 702.5 gallons.

This is not an overly large homestead!


At the water usage in the above example, with a 5 gallon/minute well it would take a pump operating for a little over 2 hours 20 minutes/day to pump that amount of water.

If the well only produced 1 gallon/minute flow, it would take a little over 11 hours 40 minutes to pump the needed amount of water out of the ground.

I've know people whose well only produced 1 gallon/minute flow and they had much less water usage than our example. Yet they were always replacing a well pump or having to have it worked on because of the amount of usage it took each day to supply water.

I trust you can see the wisdom of having a proven source of water, of at least 5 gallons/minute on the property before purchasing the land for a Country Homestead.

This illustrates why it is necessary to have at least a 5 gallon/minute proven source of water to be able to Finance Country Property through a Bank or Mortgage Company.

About The Author

John Brownlee

A retired Lawyer and Health Care Provider, he teaches people how to locate, evaluate, and purchase Country and Homestead Property. He and his wife, Linda, have taught hundreds of people how to suture wounds in an emergency. He teaches both Preparedness and Health Care Classes and has been a Presenter at Sustainable Preparedness Expos. He holds a General Ham Radio Operator's License.