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Estimated use of water in the United States in 1990
Commercial Water Use

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Commercial water use includes water for motels, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, other commercial facilities, and civilian and military institutions. A few States, such as Arkansas, Oregon, and California, have some offstream fish hatcheries that are included in the commercial category in this report. Most fish hatcheries are located instream and are not included in this compilation. Information on commercial withdrawals sometimes is available through State agencies that permit withdrawals or require permits to operate potable water supplies. In many cases, withdrawal estimates were based on the population of the commercial facilities; that is, the number of students attending a university, inmates in a penal institution, workers in an office building, or the average occupancy rate of a hotel. Information on deliveries from public suppliers to commercial users were estimated from a variety of methods if not available directly from public suppliers. Consumptive use estimates were based on coefficients generally ranging from 5 to 30 percent of withdrawals and deliveries.

Commercial water use (withdrawals, deliveries) during 1990 was an estimated 8,290 Mgal/d, or 19 percent more than during 1985. Over one-half of the increase occurred in Oregon, the result of including offstream fish hatcheries in this category. Commercial use represents about 2 percent of total freshwater use for all offstream categories. Commercial withdrawals were an estimated 2,390 Mgal/d. Surface water was the source for about 62 percent of commercial withdrawals. Public suppliers delivered about 5,900 Mgal/d of freshwater to commercial users during 1990; this accounted for about 15 percent of total public-supply withdrawals.

The source and disposition of water for commercial purposes are shown in the pie charts below (or as a GIF file ). The consumptive use of water for commercial purposes during 1990 was about 885 Mgal/d, or 11 percent of withdrawals and deliveries. The consumptive use of water for commercial purposes during 1990 was about 885 Mgal/d, or 11 percent of withdrawals and deliveries.

The Pacific Northwest, California, and Upper Mississippi water-resources regions withdrew the most water for commercial purposes as shown in figure 13 (or as a PostScript file (620Kb). These regions accounted for over 50 percent of withdrawals for commercial use (table 13). Oregon reported the largest self-supplied commercial withdrawals among states as shown in figure 14 (or as a PostScript file (508Kb) and table 14. The large increase in Oregon was because offstream fish hatcheries were included in the commercial category for the first time. California, Oregon, and Illinois reported the most commercial water use (figure 15 (or as a PostScript file (620Kb)).

Commercial water-use pie charts


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Last modified: 4/10/96