Estimated use of water in the United States, 1965

Circular 556




Estimates of water use in the United States for 1965 indicate that an average of about 310 bgd (billion gallons per day) were withdrawn for public-supply, rural domestic and livestock, irrigation, and industrial (including thermoelectric power)uses--that is, about 1,600 gallons per capita per day. This represents an increase of 15 percent over the withdrawal of 270 bgd reported for 1960. Fresh water withdrawals for thermoelectric power generation increased nearly 25 percent during the 5 years, and saline water withdrawals increased 33 percent. An additional 2,300 bgd was used for hydroelectric power generation (waterpower), which also represented a 15-percent increase in 5 years. The quantity of water consumed-that is, water made unavailable for further possible withdrawal because of evaporation, incorporation in manufactured products, and other causes--was estimated to average 78 bgd for 1965, an increase of about 28 percent since 1960. Estimates made of the quantities of water withdrawn from surface and ground-water sources indicate withdrawals of 61 bgd of ground water, of which nearly 0.5 bgd was saline, and 250 bgd of surface water, of which 44 bgd was saline. The estimated amount of saline water used by industry increased 36 percent from 1960 to 1965. In addition to surface and ground water sources, reclaimed sewage supplied two-thirds of a billion gallons per day, mainly to irrigation and industry. The average annual streamflow in the United States is approximately 1,200 bgd, about four times the amount withdrawn for all purposes (except hydroelectric power) in 1965, and more than 15 times the estimated quantity of water consumed. However, comparisons of supply and demand in many river basins show that repeated use of the water is made, and at times in some basins all the available supply is consumed. In addition to tabulations of water-use data by States and by the water-use regions previously used, water-use tables are also given for the regions recently defined by the Water Resources Council for its national assessment.

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Estimated use of water in the United States, 1965
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[U.S. Geological Survey],
iv, 53 p. :illus., maps. ;26 cm.