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Quick Facts & Stats

Quick Facts & Stats

Quick Facts & Stats about Water Usage

Overall Fresh Water Use in the U.S.*


Estimated fresh (not including sea, brackish or reclaimed) water use in the U.S.: 349 billion gallons per day, totalFresh Water Usage in the U.S. - pie chart

Thermoelectric power generation (mostly surface water used for once-through cooling of power plants that produce electricity using steam-turbine technology) accounts for the largest percentage of fresh water use at 41%

Irrigation (for agriculture and horticulture) accounts for the second largest percentage at 37%

Domestic or Residential uses (indoor & outdoor) account for 8.2%

Industrial, Commercial (businesses, hotels, etc.) & Other Uses (including system losses) from Public Supply account for about 5.4%

Industrial Uses (for manufacturing and producing food, paper, chemicals, etc.) from Private Supply account for 4.7%

Aquaculture (raising of fish & shellfish) accounts for 2%

Mining accounts for 1%

Livestock accounts for about 0.7%

* Most recent data is for 2005 by the U.S. Geological Survey

Residential Water Usage

Leaking faucets and toilets account for about 1,200,000,000,000 (1.2 trillion) gallons of water wasted each year in the United States, which is enough water to fill more than 1.7 million Olympic sized swimming poolsBreakdown of Typical Water Use at Home

About 43 million people in the U.S. get their water from self-supplied sources such as wells or other private sources, which accounts for about 1% of all of the fresh water used

In the U.S. the average person uses about 100 gallons of water per day, with toilets accounting for the highest percentage at 27%. The pie chart on the right shows the breakdown of water usage for an average household in the U.S.

In the US, watering a home's lawn can consume up to 80,000 to 100,000 gallons of water each year (applying 1 inch of water for every 1,000 sq ft requires about 600 gallons). Much of this water is wasted due to non-optimized sprinkler systems sprinkler systems, over-watering and evaporation. For instance, water is wasted on sidewalks and driveways, as well as during the day when the sun is at its highest or automated systems that turn on even when it's raining.

For those with public water and sewer services, your total cost of water includes your municipal sewer fee ($/1,000 gal) as well your monthly water fee ($/1,000 gal), which can be as high as $20/1,000 gallons for both in parts of California, to as low as about $5/1,000 gallons for both in parts of Tennessee. The average is approximately $7/1,000 gallons for both water and sewer fees

For many municipalities, storm water flows into the sewer system and overloads the treatment plants; however due to recent federal regulations, these cities have to separate these pipes, so they are increasing sewer rates by as much as 20 – 100% or more each year, in order to cover the estimated $500 billion total cost