How much water is used by people in the United States?
Since 1950, the USGS has collected and analyzed water-use data for the United States and its Territories. That data is revised every 5 years.
As of 2015, the United States uses 322 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/day). The three largest water-use categories were irrigation (118 Bgal/day), thermoelectric power (133 Bgal/day), and public supply (39 Bgal/day), cumulatively accounting for 90 percent of the national total.
Reductions in water use first observed in 2010 continue, show ongoing effort towards “efficient use of critical water resources.”
As droughts rage and aquifers dwindle, people may wonder: Is there enough water to meet all our needs? Landsat satellites are helping to answer that question.
The quality of the water we drink can potentially impact our health. The USGS has several programs and cooperative projects that characterize the quality of selected rivers and aquifers used as sources of drinking water to community water systems in the United States.
California's Central Valley Hydrologic Science
by Claudia Faunt, USGS Hydrologist
- Using about 1% of U.S. farmland, California's Central Valley supplies 7% of the U.S. agricultural output (by value) -- 1/4 of the Nation's food, including about half of the Nation's fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
- Approximately 20
--the increasing need for food production, cropland areas, and agricultural water
by Prasad Thenkabail, Research Geographer
- Worldwide demand for food will require more than one billion hectares of new cropland to feed 9 billion plus people by 2050
- Presently, of all the water used by humans over 70% goes towards
Industrial Water Use
Georgia Pacific Brunswick Cellulose paper plant, Brunswick, Georgia, USA
The industries that produce metals, wood and paper products, chemicals, gasoline and oils, and those invaluable grabber utensils you use to get your ring out of the garbage disposal are major users of water. Probably every manufactured product uses...