Trends in Water Use
“Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000.”
U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1268
TRENDS IN WATER USE is a data sculpture that graphs national statistics of water usage in the United States over 50 years, from 1950 - 2000. The width of the canyon walls represent how much water is used. Each river or tributary represents a specific category of water use based on the USGS report; Thermoelectric Power, Irrigation, Industrial, Public Supply, Domestic, and Mining/Aquaculture/Livestock/Rural (combined). The shape of the canyon as seen from above is derived from a map of the Colorado River in its entirety (Thermoelectric) and it’s main tributary, the Green River (Irrigation), as well as three smaller tributaries - accounting for all water (fresh and saline) withdrawn in the United States each day: 408,000 million gallons.
*The most recent USGS report (Circular 1441) released in 2015 shows a decrease in daily water use since this sculpture was created. Water use in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be about 322 billion gallons per day, 9 percent less than in 2010. The 2015 estimates put total withdrawals at the lowest level since before 1970.