This paper is concerned with the relationships between urbanisation and residential water consumption, taking as a case study the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona. More precisely, it investigates the influence of certain demographic, behavioural and housing factors on this consumption using descriptive statistics and a regression analysis. The data are derived from a sample of 532 households in 22 municipalities of the study area. Results show that income, housing type, members per household, the presence of outdoor uses (garden and swimming pool), the kind of species planted in the garden and consumer behaviour towards conservation practices play a significant role in explaining variations in water consumption. It is concluded that, along with prices and incomes, further research is needed on other demographic and housing variables in order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the determinants of domestic water consumption in areas periodically affected by water stress.