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Scientific Investigations Report 2008–5003

National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Estimated Withdrawals from Stream-Valley Aquifers and Refined Estimated Withdrawals from Selected Aquifers in the United States, 2000

By Pierre Sargent, Molly A. Maupin, and Stephen R. Hinkle


Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (37.5 MB)The U.S. Geological Survey National Water Use Information Program compiles estimates of fresh ground-water withdrawals in the United States on a 5-year interval. In the year-2000 compilation, withdrawals were reported from principal aquifers and aquifer systems including two general aquifers—Alluvial and Other aquifers. Withdrawals from a widespread aquifer group—stream-valley aquifers—were not specifically identified in the year-2000 compilation, but they are important sources of ground water. Stream-valley aquifers are alluvial aquifers located in the valley of major streams and rivers. Stream-valley aquifers are long but narrow aquifers that are in direct hydraulic connection with associated streams and limited in extent compared to most principal aquifers.
     Based in large part on information published in U.S. Geological Survey reports, preliminary analysis of withdrawal data and hydrogeologic and surface-water information indicated areas in the United States where possible stream-valley aquifers were located. Further assessment focused on 24 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Withdrawals reported from Alluvial aquifers in 16 states and withdrawals reported from Other aquifers in 6 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico were investigated. Two additional States—Arkansas and New Jersey—were investigated because withdrawals reported from other principal aquifers in these two States may be from stream-valley aquifers.
     Withdrawals from stream-valley aquifers were identified in 20 States and were about 1,560 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), a rate comparable to withdrawals from the 10 most productive principal aquifers in the United States. Of the 1,560 Mgal/d of withdrawals attributed to stream-valley aquifers, 1,240 Mgal/d were disaggregated from Alluvial aquifers, 150 Mgal/d from glacial sand and gravel aquifers, 116 Mgal/d from Other aquifers, 28.1 Mgal/d from Pennsylvanian aquifers, and 24.9 Mgal/d from the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer. Five States, including Colorado (552 Mgal/d), Kansas (384 Mgal/d), Oklahoma (126 Mgal/d), Kentucky (102 Mgal/d), and Ohio (100 Mgal/d), accounted for 81 percent of estimated stream-valley aquifer withdrawals identified in this report. Of the total withdrawals from stream-valley aquifers, about 63 percent (984 Mgal/d) were used for irrigation, 26 percent (400 Mgal/d) for public-supply, and 11 percent (177 Mgal/d) for self-supplied industrial uses. The largest estimated water withdrawals were from stream-valley aquifers associated with the South Platte (404 Mgal/d), Arkansas (395 Mgal/d), and Ohio (221 Mgal/d) Rivers.

Version 1.0

Posted July 2008

Suggested citation:

Sargent, B.P., Maupin, M.A., and Hinkle, S.R., 2008, Estimated withdrawals from stream-valley aquifers and refined estimated withdrawals from selected aquifers in the United States, 2000: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008–5003, 71 p.






Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Aquifer Terminology

Approach and Estimation Methods

Summary of Refined Estimated Withdrawals from Selected Aquifers in the United States, 2000

Estimated Withdrawals from Stream-Valley Aquifers

States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico












New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Dakota




Puerto Rico

South Dakota




West Virginia


Water-Resources Regions

Arkansas-White-Red Region

Mid-Atlantic Region

Missouri Region

Ohio Region

Tennessee Region

Texas-Gulf Region

Upper Colorado Region

Upper Mississippi Region


References Cited


1. Sources of water-use and related information and methods of analysis, by state

2. Estimated withdrawals for irrigation, public-supply, and self-supplied industrial
uses from principal and Other aquifers in 24 States and the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico, 2000

3. Estimated withdrawals for irrigation, public-supply, and self-supplied industrial
uses for aquifers and aquifer units disaggregated from withdrawals from Alluvial
aquifers north of the extent of Quaternary continental glaciation in North Dakota,

For more information, contact:
Director, Louisiana Water Science Center
3535 South Sherwood Forest Blvd.
Suite 120
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
(225) 298-5481ext. 3117

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