Since 1950, the U.S. Geological Survey Washington Water Science Center (USGS-WAWSC) has collected, compiled, and published, at 5-year intervals, statewide estimates of the amounts of water withdrawn and used for various purposes in Washington State. As new data and methods became available, some of the original datasets were recompiled. The most recent versions of these datasets were used in this fact sheet. The datasets are available online along with other USGS-WAWSC water-use publications at the USGS-WAWSC water use web page: http://wa.water.usgs.gov/data/wuse/. Values on these datasets and in this fact sheet may not sum to the indicated total due to independent rounding.
Due to variations in data requirements, collection methods, terminology, and data sources, the direct assessment of water-use trends between compilations is difficult. This fact sheet focuses on the trends in total State and public-supplied populations, freshwater withdrawals and use, public-supply withdrawals and deliveries, and crop irrigation withdrawals and acreage in Washington from 1985 through 2005. These four categories were included in all five compilations and were the most stable in terms of data requirements, collection methods, terminology, and data sources.