The future health and welfare of the Nation's population is dependent upon a continuing supply of uncontaminated fresh water. Increasing withdrawals and increasing demands for instream flows are limiting the water available for future use. More comprehensive water-use data and analysis of water-use information are needed to quantify the stress on existing supplies and to better model and evaluate possible water-supply management options to supplement traditional water-supply approaches.
The USGS compiles water-use data from numerous sources for all parts of the country, and since 1950 has published a series of Circulars on the estimated use of water in the United States at 5-year intervals. These Circulars contain State-level estimates of the amount of public- and self-supplied water used for commercial, domestic, industrial, irrigation, livestock, mining, power generation, and other purposes. The water-use data collected and compiled in North Dakota are an integral part of the nationwide assessment of water supply and demand.