I found this and must admit I was surprised. Uncle Roy spent his career in water and LuAnn spent much of her's in Soil and Water and I have always understood the importance of water.
"U.S. Uses Less Water Today 12/22/2009 Farm Journal Editors (Sara is a bright young jounalist and we are working some projects together)
The U. S. uses less water today than it did 35 years ago, despite a 30% population increase. Declines in water use are partly attributable to more efficient irrigation systems and alternative cooling methods at power plants, according to a recently released U.S. Geological Survey report.
The report, “Summary of Estimated Water Use in the United States in 2005,” states that Americans used 410 billion gallons of water per day in that year, slightly less than what was consumed in 2000. “Because electricity generation and irrigation together accounted for a massive 80% of our water use in 2005, the improvements in efficiency and technology give us hope for the future,” says Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science.
The report concludes that irrigation accounted for 31% of total withdrawals and 37% of freshwater withdrawals. Even though the amount of irrigated acres has increased, irrigation application rates have steadily decreased—a change that the report’s authors attribute to the increased use of more efficient irrigation systems.
“We are pleased to see that irrigation efficiency played such a major role in decreasing our nation’s overall water use,” says John Farner, director of federal affairs for the Irrigation Association. “As our nation’s population increases, the demand for food will increase, as will the amount of Americans owning homes. We will need to do more with less in the future than we’ve ever had before.”
The full report is available at http://water.usgs.gov/watuse.
Personally, finding our water leak, new toilets and appliances has cut our water useage to one third what it was a year ago. We were wasting water. Our Highland County water comes from the deep wells near Bainbridge, Ohio in that good aquifer. There is no bottled water any better than our tap water. Our water bill is our best bargain each month.
We also invested a lot of money to open up the two old farm wells so we would have alternative sources of water for spraying and some light irrigation.
Everytime we head west we see the importance of water in this country.