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Estimated Water Use in the United States 2000

Every five years the U.S. Geological Survey publishes a report summarizing how much water is withdrawn from our nation's rivers and groundwater aquifers for drinking water, irrigation, industry and other purposes. The 2000 report is scheduled for release this October.

Water withdrawal measurements are compiled from national, state, and county records. Withdrawals refer to the amount of water diverted from streams or pumped from groundwater aquifers. In years past the report also included data on consumptive use of water. Consumptive use refers to water consumed (for example by growing plants or evaporation) and not returned to the surface or ground water system. Consumptive use information is important because it is used to measure water rights if they are changed to another type of use, or when developing augmentation plans. However, lack of funding and other constraints have forced the USGS to exclude these statistics.

Due for release in October 2003, the report will be posted on the USGS website (water.usgs.gov/watuse) prior to distribution of print versions.

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