Benchmarks for water use

We've developed simple benchmarks to help you easily compare your water use with other businesses like yours. 

What's a benchmark?
Each business type has its own benchmark measure for efficient water use.

An important part of your benchmark is the key business activity indicator (KBAI). This is a measure of how much water an efficient business uses for specific activities. Find out more in the tables below.

Benchmarking your business's water use will help you:

  • measure your performance   

  • compare your performance against other similar businesses

  • identify potential inefficiencies

  • determine realistic operating targets

  • better plan for changes in your business operations.

Work out your benchmark

  1. Determine your water use (kilolitres a year).

  2. Identify your yearly key business activity indicator (KBAI).

  3. Divide the kilolitres of water you use a year by your KBAI. This is your benchmark.

Business customer P&N's David Pryor

Knowing your benchmark helps you operate more efficiently.

Water restrictions are now in place
Water restrictions target outdoor water use and apply to everyone across greater Sydney. However, we understand that some water use is critical for businesses. See how water restrictions may affect your business and check whether you need to apply for a water restrictions exemption.

Find the appropriate benchmark for your business type


Benchmark litres per bather

Benchmark litres per patron

Best practice <20 <10
Efficient 20 to 40 10 to 25
Fair 40 to 60 25 to 40
Inefficient >60 >40

For more details, read our Best practice guidelines for water management in aquatic leisure centres.

Club facility type


With no cooling tower or swimming pool 20 litres per customer per day
With cooling towers and no swimming pool 22 litres per customer per day
With cooling towers and swimming pool 28 litres per customer per day

For more details, read our Best practice guidelines for water efficiency in clubs.



Efficient <35 litres per food cover
Fair 35 to 45 litres per food cover
Inefficient >45 litres per food cover



Benchmark without reuse water

Benchmark with reuse water

Efficient 17 to 22 litres per kilogram linen 12 to 15 litres per kilogram linen
Fair 22 to 26 litres per kilogram linen 15 to 18 litres per kilogram linen
Inefficient > 26 litres per kilogram linen > 18  litres per kilogram linen


Benchmark with cooling towers

Benchmark without cooling towers

Best practice 0.77 kilolitres/m2/ year 0.40 kilolitres/m2/ year
Efficient 0.84 kilolitres/m2/ year 0.47 kilolitres/m2/ year
Fair 1.01 kilolitres/m2/ year 0.64 kilolitres/m2/ year



Best practice 0.4 kilolitres per room per day
Efficient 0.4 to 0.45 kilolitres per room per day


Best practice benchmark

Elite 4 to 9 megalitres per hectare per year
Regional 2.5 to 5 megalitres per hectare per year
Local 1.5 to 3.5 megalitres per hectare per year
Passive 0 to 2.5 megalitres per hectare per year

For more details, read our Best practice guidelines for holistic open space turf management.

Get help

If we've assigned a relationship manager to you, we can help benchmark your business's water use.  We'll organise a relationship management meeting to help you: 

  • identify your key business activity indicator (KBAI) 

  • track your historical water use 

  • determine your benchmark 

  • compare your benchmark against other similar businesses

  • recommend efficiency improvements.

Contact your Business Customer Representative, call us on 1300 985 227 or email