The US Is Using Less Water

The US is using less water than during the peak years of 1975 and 1980, according to water use estimates for 2005.

Assistant secretary of the interior, Anne Castle, announced the report – ‘Estimated Use of Water in the US in 2005’ – as part of her keynote speech at the Atlantic Water Summit in the National Press Club.

The report shows that, in 2005, Americans used 410 billion gallons a day, slightly less than in 2000. The declines are attributed to the increased use of more efficient irrigation systems and alternative technologies at power plants.

Water withdrawals for public supply have increased steadily since 1950 (when USGS began the series of five-year trend reports) along with the population that depends on these supplies.

Nearly half (49%) of the 410 billion gallons per day used by Americans was for producing electricity at thermoelectric power plants. Irrigation accounted for 31% and public supply 11% of the total. The remaining 9% of the water was for self-supplied industrial, livestock, aquaculture, mining and rural domestic uses.

“Because electricity generation and irrigation accounted for a massive 80% of our water use in 2005, the improvements in efficiency and technology give us hope for the future,” Castle said.

The largest uses of fresh surface water were power generation and irrigation, and the states with the largest fresh surface water uses were California, Texas, Idaho and Illinois. The largest use of fresh groundwater was irrigation, and the states with the largest fresh groundwater uses were California, Texas, Nebraska and Arkansas.

The smallest use of ground water was for botted water - (this blogger).