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Estimated use of water in the United States - 1950

January 1, 1994

An estimated 170,000 million gallons of water was withdrawn from the ground, lakes, or streams each day on the average during 1950 and used on the farms and in the homes, factories, and business establishments of the United States. An additional 1,100,000 million gallons per day was used to generate hydro-power. Water power is the largest user of water; however, irrigation and industry also are large users of both ground and surface water. More surface water was used for industrial purposes than for irrigation, whereas more ground water was used for irrigation than for industrial purposes (fig. 1). The total withdrawal of surface water was considerably in excess of ground-water withdrawal, as shown by figure 1. Large quantities of water were used also for purposes requiring no diversion, such as navigation, waste disposal, recreation, and support of wildlife.