Water Use in North Carolina, 2010

Science Center Objects

In North Carolina and across the Nation, water is a vital resource and it is used for a variety of purposes. Water use for 2010 was estimated for each county in North Carolina using data obtained from various Federal and State agencies and other sources. Estimates of water use in North Carolina were developed for the categories of public supply, domestic, industrial, mining, aquaculture, irrigation, livestock, and thermoelectric power.

The future health and welfare of the Nation's population is dependent upon a continuing supply of uncontaminated fresh water. Increasing withdrawals and increasing demands for instream flows are limiting the water available for future use. More comprehensive water-use data and analysis of water-use information are needed to quantify the stress on existing supplies and to better model and evaluate possible water-supply management options to supplement traditional water-supply approaches.

The USGS compiles water-use data from numerous sources for all parts of the country, and since 1950 has published a series of Circulars on the estimated use of water in the United States at 5-year intervals. These Circulars contain State-level estimates of the amount of public- and self-supplied water used for commercial, domestic, industrial, irrigation, livestock, mining, power generation, and other purposes. The water-use data collected and compiled in North Carolina are an integral part of the nationwide assessment of water supply and demand.

Source and disposition of water, North Carolina, 2010

This diagram uses a "cylinder and pipe" layout to show the source (surface water or groundwater) of the North Carolina's freshwater and for what purposes the water was used in 2010. The data are broken out for each category of use by surface water and groundwater as the source. The top row of cylinders represents where America's freshwater came from (source) in 2010, either from surface water (blue) or from groundwater (brown). The pipes leading out of the surface-water and groundwater cylinders on the top row and flowing into the bottom rows of cylinders (green) show the categories of water use where the water was sent after being withdrawn from a river, lake, reservoir, or well. Each green cylinder represents a category of water use.(Public domain.)

Water Use in North Carolina, 2010

Downloadable Excel spreadsheet of all water use for North Carolina, by counties, for 2010.

CountyPopulation
(thousands)
Surface-wateruse
(Mgal/d)
Ground-wateruse
(Mgal/d)
Total
(Mgal/d)
Percapitause
(gal/d)
Alamance151.13120.093.7623.85158
Alexander37.1982.531.704.23114
Alleghany11.1554.121.425.54497
Anson26.9488.251.289.53354
Ashe27.28114.712.7917.50641
Avery17.79717.872.0619.931120
Beaufort47.7591.0188.8789.881882
Bertie21.2825.7315.0820.81978
Bladen35.19081.8911.2693.152647
Brunswick107.43116.523.9820.50191
Buncombe238.318294.526.09300.611261
Burke90.91236.302.6238.92428
Cabarrus178.01116.915.7522.66127
Caldwell83.02916.663.0019.66237
Camden9.9805.011.126.13614
Carteret66.4690.819.8410.65160
Caswell23.7190.393.844.23178
Catawba154.3581069.577.111076.686975
Chatham63.505242.443.99246.433880
Cherokee27.44419.352.4421.79794
Chowan14.7935.261.777.03475
Clay10.5870.270.991.26119
Cleveland98.07840.642.7443.38442
Columbus58.09836.416.6543.06741
Craven103.50515.6021.7437.34361
Cumberland319.43133.7311.9545.68143
Currituck23.5471.014.635.64240
Dare33.9200.108.638.73257
Davidson162.87823.134.1127.24167
Davie41.2404.721.686.40155
Duplin58.50512.6525.8438.49658
Durham267.58727.386.3933.77126
Edgecombe56.5527.887.3915.27270
Forsyth350.67041.368.1349.49141
Franklin60.6196.223.249.46156
Gaston206.086845.066.63851.694133
Gates12.1970.712.142.85234
Graham8.86138.700.3639.064408
Granville59.9165.752.468.21137
Greene21.3622.315.317.62357
Guilford488.40653.7112.3166.02135
Halifax54.69129.841.8631.70580
Harnett114.67822.665.0227.68241
Haywood59.03699.601.58101.181714
Henderson106.74016.073.3719.44182
Hertford24.6692.508.1610.66432
Hoke46.95220.975.2626.23559
Hyde5.8100.501.311.81312
Iredell159.43717.378.6025.97163
Jackson40.2713.012.125.13127
Johnston168.87821.318.3629.67176
Jones10.1530.593.093.68362
Lee57.8669.931.8511.78204
Lenoir59.49521.128.5229.64498
Lincoln78.26523.153.7326.88343
McDowell44.9966.774.2911.06246
Macon33.922276.032.06278.098198
Madison20.7641.021.722.74132
Martin24.50560.193.3863.572594
Mecklenburg919.6282782.3822.522804.903050
Mitchell15.5793.250.884.13265
Montgomery27.7984.271.856.12220
Moore88.24711.679.4721.14240
Nash95.84016.014.5920.60215
NewHanover202.66726.5115.8642.37209
Northampton22.09916.415.0221.43970
Onslow177.7721.9230.3532.27182
Orange133.80120.343.8424.18181
Pamlico13.1440.003.763.76286
Pasquotank40.6610.524.795.31131
Pender52.2175.766.8312.59241
Perquimans13.4530.382.472.85212
Person39.4641012.532.261014.7925714
Pitt168.14815.5713.2528.82171
Polk20.5101.311.272.58126
Randolph141.75216.097.3123.40165
Richmond46.63912.566.0418.60399
Robeson134.16814.2022.9537.15277
Rockingham93.643125.487.89133.371424
Rowan138.428191.595.99197.581427
Rutherford67.8109.062.4911.55170
Sampson63.43116.6321.2437.87597
Scotland36.1572.195.147.33203
Stanly60.5856.373.169.53157
Stokes47.4011280.902.541283.4427076
Surry73.67320.655.8726.52360
Swain13.98114.230.7715.001073
Transylvania33.090808.063.07811.1324513
Tyrrell4.4070.030.560.59134
Union201.29234.897.2942.18210
Vance45.4227.772.059.82216
Wake900.99384.9229.53114.45127
Warren20.9721.561.012.57123
Washington13.2281.074.735.80438
Watauga51.0799.161.8411.00215
Wayne122.62320.2014.1134.31280
Wilkes69.34011.283.0114.29206
Wilson81.23421.794.1825.97320
Yadkin38.40611.553.7915.34399
Yancey17.81811.511.2512.76716
Total:9535.48310362.48694.1911056.671159.53