According to international and national guidelines, the quantity of water available in each household should be 50–100 litres per person per day, or an absolute minimum of 20 litres. In practice, the amount of water collected every day by households is considerably less than this and is largely determined by the distance of the source of water from the home. If the water source is outside the home, but within around 1 kilometre (or 30 minutes total collection time), about 20 litres per person per day will typically be collected.
Where water is supplied through a single tap within the confines of the household's living area, the water used is typically about 50 litres per person per day. At this level it is much easier to ensure good hygiene. For example, households may use 30 times more water for child hygiene compared with those who have to collect water from a communal source. Households that do not have to travel to collect water have more time for economic activity, food preparation, child care and education. Having access to a greater volume of water potentially encourages handwashing, general physical cleanliness and improved living conditions.