Understanding water consumption has become important in restricting the consumption of water. With water getting listed as a commodity and being traded as a futures contract on Wall Street on 10th December 2020, it has become evident waging wars for water is a reality.
Keeping this in mind, let us explore how is the water consumption pattern in the US and the ways in which it can be controlled in the future.
As a responsible generation, we need to ensure that we leave behind water, not as a legacy, but as a necessity for generations to come.
With every American using close to 100 gallons of water every day, it has become necessary to investigate deep down the roots of activities that uses the most water in the United State.
Data crunching and analysis
Going through some of the important data, in 2018, every person in the US used close to 80 gallons of water every day. But, in 2019, there was a steep rise in water usage by 20-25%, as every family used 300 gallons of water per day.
With the largest share of the water consumption coming from the showers and toilets, it is a real concern, if we should look for an alternative?
Regulating the water flow using the faucets can be a better alternative in the restrooms, that allow water to flow only at 1 gallons per minute.
A pattern for the usage of water is observed globally as well. As we move towards developed countries like the US, the larger share of water (close to 80%) is for industrial and commercial purposes.
With states like California, Texas, and Florida ranking the highest in the water consumption per gallon per day, only California accounts for the largest share of water consumption for agriculture.
Moreover, the share of the fresh water in the total water consumption has fallen from 97% to 85% over the last 7 decades. On a positive note, there has been a reduction in the consumption of water 1985 onwards, by close to 1% year on year, which amounts to 1 gallon per person per day in the US.
Major sinks of water usage
The major contributor to water consumption in the US is the primary consumers. With Texas and California ranking the highest in the water consumption category, close to 30K gallons of water per day is withdrawn respectively.
As per the recent trend reported by USGS, the water consumption in the thermoelectric power plants accounts for 133 billion gallons per day, which is the lion’s share.
Irrigation consumes close to 125 billion gallons of water per day on an average, which has been constant over the past.
It is followed by the public consumption that accounts for 40 billion gallons per day, whereas livestock consumption ranks the lowest.
2015 onwards, there was a decrease in the water consumption in the US and it is mainly due to the reduction in the withdrawal by the power plants.
Though, the recent trends have shown a reduction in the consumption of the water across avenues like plants and irrigation, yet it is required to regulate water consumption at a macro level. Establishment of water policies and a strong check in the cities like California can be thought of since the US is still the largest consumer of water for industrial purposes.