Estimated use of water in the United States, 1960

Circular 456
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The estimated overage withdrawal use of water in the United States during 1960 was almost 270,000 mgd (million gallons per day), exclusive of water used to develop water power. This estimated use amounts to about 1,500 gpd (galIons per day) per capita. An additional 2,000,000 mgd were used to develop waterpower.

Withdrawal use of water requires that the water be removed from the ground or diverted from a stream or lake. In this report the use is divided into five types: public supplies, rural, irrigation, self-supplied industrial, and waterpower. Consumptive use of water is the quantity discharged to the atmosphere or incorporated in the products of the process in which it was used. Only 61,000 mgd of the 270,000 mgd withdrawn was consumed.

Of the water withdrawn in 1960, 220,000 mgd (including irrigation conveyance losses) was taken from surface sources and 47,000 from underground sources. Withdrawal of water for uses other than waterpower has increased 12 percent since 1955. The amount of water used for generation of waterpower has! increased 33 percent since 1955. The use of saline water was almost twice as great in 1960 as in 1955.

The upper limit of our water supply is the average annual runoff, nearly 1,200,000 mgd. The supply in 1960 was depleted by 61,000 mgd, the amount of water consumed. However, a large part of the water withdrawn but not consumed was deteriorated in quality.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Estimated use of water in the United States, 1960
Series title Circular
Series number 456
DOI 10.3133/cir456
Year Published 1961
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) North Dakota Water Science Center, Utah Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center
Description iii, 44 p.
Country United States
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