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Public-supply water use and self-supplied industrial water use in Tennessee, 2010

April 26, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Resources, prepared this report and displayed and analyzed water use by self-supplied industrial and public-supply water systems in Tennessee for 2010. Public-supply water systems in Tennessee provide water for domestic, industrial, and commercial uses and for municipal services. In 2010, 474 public-supply water systems distributed 917 million gallons per day (Mgal/d) of surface water (67 percent, 617 Mgal/d) and groundwater (33 percent, 300 Mgal/d) to a population of 5.7 million in Tennessee. Gross per capita water use in Tennessee during 2010 was 162 gallons per day.

Since 1950, water withdrawals by public-supply water systems in Tennessee have increased from 160 Mgal/d to 917 Mgal/d in 2010. Each of the 95 counties in Tennessee was served by at least 1 public-supply water system in 2010. Tennessee public-supply water systems withdraw less groundwater than surface water, and surface-water use has increased at a faster rate than groundwater use. Since 2005, surface-water withdrawals have increased by 26 Mgal/d, and groundwater withdrawals have decreased by 29 Mgal/d, which is the first decrease in groundwater withdrawals since 1950; however, 29 systems reported increased groundwater withdrawals during 2010, and 12 of these 29 systems reported increases of 1 Mgal/d or more. Davidson County had the largest surface-water withdrawal rate (136 Mgal/d) in 2010. The largest groundwater withdrawal rate (151 Mgal/d) by a single public-supply water system was reported by Memphis Light, Gas and Water, which served more than 669,000 people in Shelby County in 2010.

Self-supplied industrial water use includes water for such purposes as fabrication, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or for sanitation needs in facilities that manufacture various products. Water withdrawals for self-supplied industrial water use during 2010 were about 776 Mgal/d. This quantity represented a decrease of 7 Mgal/d since 2005. In Tennessee, self-supplied industrial water withdrawals were primarily for chemical and allied products (555 Mgal/d), paper and allied products (107 Mgal/d), aeronautical products (71.5 Mgal/d), concrete and glass products (9.74 Mgal/d), and primary metal products (4.49 Mgal/d); and these products accounted for 96 percent (747 Mgal/d) of the self-supplied industrial water withdrawals in 2010. Surface water supplied 94 percent of the water (728 Mgal/d) for self-supplied industrial purposes, and groundwater supplied 6 percent (47.6 Mgal/d). Self-supplied industrial water withdrawals in Sullivan County were 488 Mgal/d and accounted for 61 percent of the self-supplied industrial water withdrawals. The largest groundwater withdrawal, 14.9 Mgal/d, by a single self-supplied industry was in Memphis, Tennessee, for the production of chemicals and allied products.

Publication Year 2018
Title Public-supply water use and self-supplied industrial water use in Tennessee, 2010
DOI 10.3133/sir20185009
Authors John A. Robinson
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2018-5009
Index ID sir20185009
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center