Surface Water

Even as industrial water withdrawals are heavily dependent on surface water, America, and indeed, the world at large is seeing this water source dwindling as climate change affects not only rainfall patterns but glacial ice melt. As extreme weather events continue to become the new normal, it’s becoming ever more apparent that surface water must be treated with care and can no longer be seen as a limitless resource to be exploited.

Even as industrial water withdrawals are heavily dependent on surface water, America, and indeed, the world at large is seeing this water source dwindling as climate change affects not only rainfall patterns but glacial ice melt. As extreme weather events continue to become the new normal, it’s becoming ever more apparent that surface water must be treated with care and can no longer be seen as a limitless resource to be exploited.

Did You Know?

Industrial withdrawals were an estimated 14,800 million gallons/day - about 5% of total withdrawals for all categories of use. Surface water was the source for 82% of total industrial withdrawals.

Surface water sources depend on runoff from adjacent land and/or groundwater springs. These, in turn, depend on rainfall rates that vary from year to year.

Extreme weather events, such as floods or tropical storms, are expected to be more frequent. Climate change is projected to increase the fluctuations in precipitation and surface water supplies, reducing snow packs/glaciers which will ultimately affect water requirements.

Of all the water used in America in 2015 about 74% (237,000 Mgal/d) came from surface-water sources.

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