Course: Science Subtest I
Lesson: Earth's Resources
Topic: California's Fresh Water      Page 11 of 39  

As it makes its way from the mountains to the ocean, river water may be used for irrigation, household use, or industry, then returned to the river and re-used downstream. Power plants use almost 40% of all the fresh water used in the United States, but virtually all the water is returned to the environment and is available for other uses.

This 3-D plot of water use across the country for 2000 shows very high water use in the western United States. Source: United States Geological Survey