Water Use Breakdown

Its easy to take for granted the water that comes out of your tap.

Not only do you turn a nob and have water, its also clean drinking water! Today we want to share a bigger picture of water use in America. Thanks to a major study done by the USGS in 2005, we have a good picture of how water is used, and where it comes from. Here are some graphs created by the USGS from that study.




(Click on the image to enlarge)

Nearly two-thirds of the fresh groundwater withdrawals in 2005 were for irrigation, and more than one-half of the groundwater for irrigation was withdrawn in just four States: California, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texas. Irrigation was the largest use of fresh groundwater in 25 States.

For 2005, 41 percent of freshwater withdrawl was used in the thermoelectric-power industry to cool electricity-generating equipment. Water used in this manner is most often returned to the water bodies it was taken from. That is why the more significant use of surface water is irrigation, which used about 37 percent of all fresh surface water, but, ignoring thermoelectric-power withdrawals, irrigation accounted for about 62 percent of the Nation’s surface water withdrawals. Public supply and industry were the next largest users of surface water.