Water Q&A: Where does our household water come from?

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Learn about household water sources across the U.S.

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Where does our household water come from?

Water Questions and Answers

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) compiles national water-use information every 5 years, with the last compilation done in 2015. As far as where all the water is from that we use in our homes, it is from either a groundwater source, such as a well, or from a surface-water source, such a river, lake, or reservoir.

In the U.S. in 2015, about 283 million of the 325 million people in the United States got their home water delivered by a public supplier, such as the county water department. At other homes, mainly in more rural areas, people provide water for themselves from sources such as a well, a cistern, a pond, or a stream. It is common that groundwater wells provide water for these users, with almost 98% of water coming from fresh groundwater sources.