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Estimated Use of Water in the United States


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Water Information System (NWIS) is responsible for compiling and disseminating the nation's water-use data. The USGS works in cooperation with local, state, and federal environmental agencies to collect water-use information. USGS compiles these data to produce water-use information aggregated by county, state, and national levels. Every five years, data at the county level are compiled into a national water-use data system and state-level data are published in a national circular.


Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, National Water Use Information Program (DOI/USGS/NWIS)

Data Years Available

1950-present (years ending in 0 and 5)


Reports are produced every 5 years.



Selected Content

Water source (e.g., ground water, surface water); water type (fresh, saline); water use (e.g., residential, irrigation, thermoelectric).

Population covered

Water use in the United States.


For information on methodologies used to produce these reports see: Guidelines for Preparation of State Water-Use Estimates; Method for Estimating Water Withdrawals for Livestock; Methods for Estimating Water Withdrawals for Mining; and Methods for Estimating Water Withdrawals for Aquaculture. Available at: {link:10073}

Response rate and sample size


Interpretation Issues


References and related web pages. Accessed August 28, 2010.