Thursday, May 3, 2018

Water Use in the United States 2015- fewer use private wells

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has estimated water use in the United States every 5 years since 1950. The USGS has recently released some of the data for 2015 in an interim report. This report provides an overview of total population, public-supply use, and self-supplied domestic water use in the United States for 2015.

Total water for public supply were about 39,200 million gallons per day (Mgal/day) in 2015 (Dieter and others, 2017). Sixty-one percent of these withdrawals were from fresh surface-water sources (24,000 Mgal/day), 38 % were from fresh groundwater sources (14,900 Mgal/day), less than 1% was from saline groundwater sources (263 Mgal/day), and less than 0.5% was from saline surface-water sources (7.21 Mgal/day). Sixty percent or almost 23,300 Mgal/day of the total public-supply withdrawals were delivered to homes.

The average domestic use of water for people on public supplied water was 82 gallons per person. The range of use of water was huge, domestic per capita use ranged from 35 gallons/day in Connecticut to 184 gallons/day in Idaho. From 2010 to 2015, California reported a 17% decrease in total domestic use of water. In 2015, California was enduring one of the worst drought years on record and mandatory water restriction went into effect in 2014.

In 2015, the total population of the United States, reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, was about 325 million people. There were nine states with populations of more than 10 million people each: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and North Carolina. The population in these nine states totaled 164 million people, or 51% of the total population of the United States. During a period where the total population of the United States increased 4 %, or approximately 12 million people, from 2010 (313 million people) to 2015 (325 million people), the number of people using private wells fell.

The domestic self-supplied population decreased by 1.4 million people from 44.0 million people in 2010 to 42.6 million people in 2015. This was a 3% reduction in the number of people who supply their own water. The domestic self-supplied withdrawals decreased eve more , 9 % from 3,570 Mgal/day in 2010 to 3,260 Mgal/day in 2015. This represents a continued decline in self-supplied domestic withdrawals observed from 2005 to 2010 (Maupin and others, 2014). Total domestic self-supplied withdrawals in 2015 were at the lowest levels since prior to 1980 (approximately 3,400 Mgal/day) when the total population was much smaller. Today, an estimated 42.6 million people in the United States, or 13 % of the population, provided their own water for domestic use in 2015.

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