Water Use per Capita

A white Illinois American Water water tower, with the logo and company name partially visible. A park and parking lot are partially visible in the foreground.What is the indicator?

Water use per capita measures the amount of water used per person in Champaign County, categorized by public water supply withdrawals and domestic self-supplied withdrawals.

Public water supply withdrawals include the residential water use of households connected to a public supply, but also include withdrawals for industrial, commercial, and power generation uses[1]. Thus, this figure cannot be extrapolated into residential household water use. Domestic self-supplied withdrawals are residential or household withdrawals of households that are not connected to a public water supply, but instead draw water from a private supply, like a well[2].

 

 

 

What does the data say? Are there any notable trends?

 

Water Use Per Capita

 Champaign County      
Total PopulationPopulation Served by Public Water SupplyTotal Public Supply Withdrawals (mgd)Public Supply Withdrawals per Capita (gallons per day)Domestic Self-Supplied PopulationTotal Domestic Withdrawals (mgd)Domestic Withdrawals per Capita (gallons per day)
1985169,800135,91019.94146.7133,8902.4773
1990173,020141,98020.57144.8831,0402.2472
1995169,100166,88022.59135.372,2000.290
2000179,670166,02022.65136.4313,6501.2390
2005184,905169,63026.58156.6915,2751.3890
2010201,081182,37025.2138.1818,7111.580

 

Both public water supply withdrawals per capita and domestic self-supplied withdrawals per capita decreased between 2005 and 2010, but their trends before 2005 were notably dissimilar. Domestic self-supplied withdrawals increased in the early 1990’s, then held steady until 2005, while public water supply withdrawals decreased between 1990 and 1995, then increased between 2000 and 2005.

The public supply withdrawals per capita were consistently higher than the domestic self-supplied withdrawals per capita throughout the period of analysis: as noted above, the category of public supply withdrawals per capita includes more types of water use, and some that tend to be users of larger quantities of water, than the domestic self-supplied withdrawals category.

 

Why is this important?/Why did we include it in our set of indicators?

Although east-central Illinois is a relatively water-rich region, water use, quality, and management remain topics of interest for a future that may hold increases or decreases in the amount of precipitation that can be expected, and the timing and intensity of that precipitation.

 

Where did we get the data, and how often is it released?

This data is sourced from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Information System’s Web Interface, at http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis. The data is released every five years.

[1] USGS. (2016). Water Use Terminology. <http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/wuglossary.html>.

[2] Ibid.

 

Source: USGS. (2016). National Water Information System: Web Interface. <http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/water_use/>. (Accessed 21 March 2016).