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Virginia Water Science Center: Water Use

(in millions of gallons per day)


Total water withdrawals, Virginia, 1995

Estimated total withdrawals for Virginia in 1995 were 8,260 million gallons per day (Mgal/d), of which approximately 358 Mgal/d (4.3%) was ground water and 7,904 Mgal/d (95.7%) was surface water (see pie chart). Most of the withdrawals were of freshwater (5,470 Mgal/d, or 66.2%), though significant quantities of saline water were withdrawn for thermoelectric power generation and industrial use. Based on a 1995 population of approximately 6,618,000, Virginia's per capita use of fresh water was 826 gallons per day (gal/d). For comparison, the national average per capita use was 1,280 gal/d, and the average for the Mid-Atlantic water-resources region was 509 gal/d. Virginia's withdrawal total of 8,260 Mgal/d was about 2% of the national total of 402,000 Mgal/d.

Water use is defined herein as offstream use, which includes water withdrawn or diverted from a ground- or surface-water source for public-water supply, industry, irrigation, livestock, thermoelectric power generation, and other uses. Withdrawals thus are not limited to consumptive uses and may include water that is returned to the source after use. It is important to note that water withdrawn at one location may be used at a different location, and such "deliveries" or transfers are common in Virginia. Data presented here show withdrawals only for each county or independent city, not deliveries. More information on deliveries is in Estimated use of water in the United States in 1995.

*Data and information are compiled from Solley, W.B., Pierce, R. R., and Perlman, H.A., 1998, Estimated use of water in the United States in 1995: U. S. Geological Survey Circular 1200, 71 p. 

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Page Last Modified: 05/25/2010 08:35