Industrial water supplies of the United States

Open-File Report 54-174

A paper prepared for presentation at Fifteenth Annual Water Conference, Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 18, 1954



The availability of adequate supplies of water of suitable quality determines in large measure the potential for industrial development in any community. However, the pattern of availability of water for industrial use is not so generally recognized. It is the purpose of this paper to point out the more important factors affecting the distribution and quality of existing and potential sources of water with particular reference to industrial development.

From a nation-wide standpoint our country is blessed with plenty of water. If the available water could be distributed completely in accordance with needs, it is probable that no part of the country would suffer from lack of water either now or in the foreseeable future. As nature has not dealt so providently however, or perhaps as man has not been able to cope with the vagaries of nature, we find ourselves beset with droughts and floods. Added to the natural deficiencies of nature are man-made difficulties such as lowered ground-water tables and salt-water encroachment of fresh water supplies resulting from overpumping of ground waters, pollution in all its forms, and wasteful use of water for many purposes. It becomes necessary, therefore, to study and evaluate our most important natural resource in order that we may use it more intelligently. This is particularly true in regard to continued industrial growth of our country.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Industrial water supplies of the United States
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Washington D.C.
18 p.
United States