Water Availability and Use Science Program: Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015

Water Availability and Use Science Program: Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015
Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015
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This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) national compilation of water use is based upon data provided by the many State and local agencies that manage water resources, operate data-collection programs, and administer regulations for use of water and other natural resources. A comprehensive set of data is avaiable herein relative to all uses of water resources in America reported in 2015.

Water use in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be about 322 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), which was 9 percent less than in 2010. The 2015 estimates put total withdrawals at the lowest level since before 1970, following the same overall trend of decreasing total withdrawals observed from 2005 to 2010. Freshwater withdrawals were 281 Bgal/d, or 87 percent of total withdrawals, and salinewater withdrawals were 41.0 Bgal/d, or 13 percent of total withdrawals. Fresh surface-water withdrawals (198 Bgal/d) were 14 percent less than in 2010, and fresh groundwater withdrawals (82.3 Bgal/day) were about 8 percent greater than in 2010. Saline surface-water withdrawals were 38.6 Bgal/d, or 14 percent less than in 2010. Total saline groundwater withdrawals in 2015 were 2.34 Bgal/d, mostly for mining use. Thermoelectric power and irrigation remained the two largest uses of water in 2015, and total withdrawals decreased for thermoelectric power but increased for irrigation. Withdrawals in 2015 for thermoelectric power were 18 percent less and withdrawals for irrigation were 2 percent greater than in 2010.

Table of Contents

Abstrac 1

Introduction 2

Purpose and Scope 4

Terminology Used in This Report 5

Changes for the 2015

Report 5

Sources of Data and Methods of Analysis 5

Total Water Use 7

Public Supply 18

Domestic.... 22

Irrigation 26

Livestock 32

Aquaculture 34

Industrial 36

Mining 39

Thermoelectric Power 42

Trends in Water Use, 1950–2015 50

References Cited 6

Glossary 59

Contributing Agencies and Organizations 62


Conservationsists, water resource managers at the national, state, and local jurisdictional levels, businesses and individuals whose livelihoods are impacted by the availability to reliabcel water resources.

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Interior Dept., Geological Survey
  • Dieter, Cheryl A.
Key Phrases:
  • Geological Survey Circular Series 1441
  • Water Use
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