industrial thirst

Annual water extraction is about 50% of the flow of our three largest rivers.

Little information is available on supply chain or indirect water use for the production of goods and services in the United States. Carnegie Mellon’s study noticed that it takes:

— 270 gallons of water to produce $1 worth of sugar
— 200 gallons of water to make $1 worth of pet food
— 140 gallons of water to make $1 worth of milk

Residential or domestic water use is 6.4% of total withdrawals. Irrigation, 34% of our total water usage, and power generation account for 90% of direct water withdrawals, the overwhelming majority.