Industrial Water Use

Science Center Objects

The industries that produce metals, wood and paper products, chemicals, gasoline and oils, and those invaluable grabber utensils you use to get your ring (which also needed water to manufacture) out of the garbage disposal are major users of water.

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Industrial water use: Brunswick Cellulose paper plant, Brunswick, Georgia

Georgia Pacific Brunswick Cellulose paper plant, Brunswick, Georgia (Credit: Alan Cressler, USGS)

Probably every manufactured product uses water during some part of the production process. Industrial water use includes water used for such purposes as fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or for sanitation needs within the manufacturing facility. Some industries that use large amounts of water produce such commodities as food, paper, chemicals, refined petroleum, or primary metals.


Industrial Water Use in the United States

Every five years, water withdrawal and use data at the county level are compiled into a national water-use data system, and state-level data are published in a national circular. 


Access the most recent National industrial data, maps, and diagrams.