The USGS Water Science School
Water Science water-use pages
Categories of Use:
National Water Use Program
Information and Data
Aquaculture Water Use
Fish farming is only one aspect of aquaculture. Aquaculture water use is water associated with raising creatures that live in water—such as finfish and shellfish—for food, restoration, conservation, or sport. In many lakes, rivers, and reservoirs around the country, recreational fishermen enjoy catching fish that have been raised in fish ponds and released to natural waters. Aquaculture production occurs under controlled feeding, sanitation, and harvesting procedures primarily in ponds, flowthrough raceways, and, to a lesser extent, cages, net pens, and closed-recirculation tanks.
Aquaculture withdrawals for the Nation, 2010
During 2010, the estimated rate of freshwater withdrawn for aquaculture was 9,420 million gallons per day (Mgal/d), or 9,840 thousand acre-feet per year, with surface water being the source of about 81 percent of the withdrawals. (All 2010 water use information is from the report Estimated use of water in the United States in 2010.) Much of the surface water was used for flow-through raceways and was returned to the environment after use. Aquaculture withdrawals were 3 percent of total National total freshwater withdrawals.
Aquaculture withdrawals by source and State, 2010
The states that used the most water in 2010 for aquaculture needs were Idaho, North Carolina, California, Oregon, and Alaska. These states accounted for about 70 percent of total aquaculture water used in the Nation.
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