Questions & answers about tap water in the Netherlands

What is a cubic meter of water?

In the Netherlands, water is measured in cubic meters. Cubic meter is abbreviated by m³. The word kuub is also used in everyday language.

A cubic meter gets its name from its shape, a cube. One cubic meter corresponds to the volume of a cube with an edge length of 1 meter. The consumption of one cubic meter of water means that a volume of 1x1x1m water reaches a house via the water pipe and is consumed there. This is counted with a (usually analogue) water meter.

Pearls of Wisdom

The General Conference of Dimensions and Weights of CGPM in 1964 restored the original definition of 1 litre = 1 dm³. A cubic meter is equivalent to 1,000 litres.


1 cubic meter = 1,000 cubic decimeters = 1,000,000 cubic centimeters = 1,000 liters = 1 kiloliter