Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

Water Supply

How much water do you use in a day? Would you believe more than 1,200 gallons?

Graph of Household Water Use. Click for full size picture
Image of Household Water Use

The typical household only uses 50 to 85 gallons a day, but it takes nearly 1,200 gallons per person per day to meet the needs of farmers, factories, electrical utilities, and the many other entities that make it possible for us to have food on our table, a computer on our desk and power for our house.

Careful management of the nation's water supply is critical to limiting water shortages and lessening the impact of droughts. As one of the nation’s largest water supply agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a major role in ensuring that Americans have enough water to meet their needs.

The Corps has 136 multiple purpose projects that contain storage for water supply in 25 states and Puerto Rico. These projects are capable of providing almost 5 billion gallons of water per day for use by local communities and businesses. That is enough water to supply the average household needs of about 55 million Americans for a year. The Corps’ numerous water supply projects benefit the environment and have a significant economic impact.

For more information read our Water Supply Brochure (pdf, 3.29 MB) or view the Water Supply Fast Facts.

More Information

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Water plays an integral role in the day-to-day operation of nearly every business in the United States. A reliable water supply system is crucial to the effective functioning of the economy. Corps water supply projects help ensure a steady flow of water to the nation's businesses. Read more…
The Corps undertakes numerous water supply studies each year designed to protect and restore the environment. Many of these efforts involve improving fish and wildlife habitats by reallocating water supplies or revising dam operating plans. Read more…
The Corps is involved in many water supply activities. These include workshops, helping to meet community needs, and providing assistance during droughts and other emergencies. Read more…
Water supply graphic