In a rare bit of ecological good-news, a study published by the US Geological Survey found that even though population of the US has increased 30% since 1980, our water consumption decreased by 5%! That’s not even a per capita number, it’s an overall reduction due to conservation. Take a look:
I took the liberty of scrubbing the data and uploading it to Many-Eyes for some interactive analysis. It looks like the stabilization and decrease has been fueled mostly by a flattened thermoelectric sector, and decreased irrigation and industrial uses.
You can select individual uses in the box to the left to see how they’ve changed over time.