The USGS Water Science School
Ground water is vitally important in supplying water for our Nation's everyday water needs. Groundwater is used to irrigate crops and supply homes, businesses, and industries with water. This bar chart shows America's use of ground and surface water from 1950 to 2000.
The left-side bar in each set of three bars shows the amount of groundwater withdrawals for the United States. Roughly one quarter of the water used in the United States has come from groundwater. This proportion has remained fairly constant throughout the last 50 years. The majority of groundwater goes towards crop irrigation, with the next largest use being water withdrawn for public-supply purposes (water withdrawn by a government or private agency and delivered to homes and businesses). Groundwater is almost exclusively used by people who supply their own home water (self-supplied domestic use).
Data table of trends in water use in the United States 1950-2000
Data table of Data table of groundwater use in the United States 2000. .
Map: Ground-water use (by state) in 2000