The USGS Water Science School
Water Science water-use pages
Categories of Use:
National Water Use Program
Information and Data
Mining water use
Hydraulic mining at the Malakoff Diggins in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
Like all other industries, mining corporations need water to make bare rock give up its valuable minerals. Mining has played an important part in the development of this Nation. Even before the first European settlers set foot on this continent and mined coal to heat their homes, Native Americans were using coal to bake clay for vessels. The United States now produces a wide variety of mined commodities from gold to coal to "exotic" minerals used in everything from pharmaceuticals to jewelry to high-tech products. All these products would not be possible without the use of water in mining.
Mining withdrawals for the Nation, 2015