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Wyoming State Water Plan - River Basin Advisory Group: Reference Notebook, Water Use By Activity

Water Use By Activity

Typical quantities of agricultural, domestic, and industrial water use are shown below. Agricultural activities, on average, account for 90 percent or more of the water used throughout the western United States. Only a portion of water "used" (withdrawn) is consumed. Water not consumed is called return flow and contributes to downstream surface and ground water supplies. Approximately half of the water applied by surface irrigation is consumed, and only one to twenty percent of water withdrawn for industrial processing or cooling is consumed. Individual water applications an consumptive use rates vary widely.

Agricultural Water Use

Crop Production                 Typical Quantities of Water Withdrawn

One acre of hay 3.3 acre feet 300,000 gal/ton
One acre of corn 2.7 acre feet 6,500 gal/bu
One acre of barley 2.0 acre feet 8,000 gal/bu
One acre of sugar beets 2.7 acre feet 40,000 gal/ton

Beef cattle 15 gal/head/day 5,475 gal/head/yr
Sheep 1.5 gal/head/day 548 gal/head/yr
Horse 10 gal/head/day 3,650 gal/head/yr

Domestic Water Use

Average use per residence       0.57 af/year              184,320 gal/year
505 gal/day 15,360 gal/month

Total use per person 158 gal/day 4,800 gal/month

Indoor use per person 78 gal/day 2,370 gal/month
Toilet 27 gal/day -
Laundry 17 gal/day -
Showers 14 gal/day -
Misc. 20 gal/day -

Outdoor use per person 80 gal/day 2,430 gal/month

Industrial Water Use (process, transportation, cooling)

Petroleum refining                                           770 gal/barrel
Coal gasification (250 mmcf/day) 4,750-13,900 af/year
Coal hydrogenation-liquefication
(dry cooling 100,000 barrels fuel/day) 10,000-12,000 af/year
Coal slurry pipeline (one million tons/year) 600 af/year
Electric generating plant (1,000 mw) 7,000-29,000 af/year

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