Every five years the USGS evaluates how America uses water. Aside from drinking it, we use water for cooling power plants, for growing crops and for manufacturing consumer goods and transportation fuels.
Ensia took a look at the most recent set of data (from 2015) and created a series of visualizations that help us understand our own behaviors a little more clearly. As it turns out, we used 9 percent less water per day in 2015 than we did in 2010, even though our population increased by 4 percent. Power production and crop irrigation accounted for most of this use.