USGS Summary of Estimated Water Use in the US - 2015 Update

Geographical Focus: 
Published Date: 
June 1, 2018

Lead by California and Texas, public water withdrawals continue to decline even as population increases according to the USGS Summary of Estimated Water Use in the US 2015 update, recently issued by USGS. The report confirms the significant impact of urban water efficiency across the US. Public withdrawals in 2015 were 7% lower than in 2010, and 2015 was the lowest year since 1985. Per capita use in 2015 was 11.5% lower than in 2010, demonstrating the efficiency increases achieved.

"The latest report from the USGS confirms the tremendous water efficiency gains we have achieved over the past ten years," said Mary Ann Dickinson, President and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. "This is the first USGS report since the start of the EPA WaterSense program and an 11.5% reduction in per capita suggests a substantial impact."

Public supply withdrawals prepared every five years by the USGS are a critical water demand benchmark for municipal water providers. The Alliance for Water Efficiency has summarized the USGS public supply withdrawals from 1950 - 2015, and the results show a striking decline in withdrawals starting in 2010.  Per capita water use peaked in 1990 and has been declining in every report since then, a remarkable achievement and a clear indication of the success of water efficiency efforts.