Industrial Water

Uses in Manufacturing and Industry

Photo of water providing electrical power (hydroelectric plant)

Manufacturing and other industries use water during the production process for either creating their products or cooling equipment used in creating their products. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), industrial water is used for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product. Water is also used by smelting facilities, petroleum refineries, and industries producing chemical products, food, and paper products. Large amounts of water are used mostly to produce food, paper, and chemicals.

Louisiana tops the list of states that use the most freshwater per day for industrial use, mostly for its chemical and paper industries. Other top users of industrial water include Indiana and Texas (1).

Industrial water use is declining in the United States, with the year 2000 showing the lowest level since reporting of industrial water use began in 1950. Worldwide, high-income countries use 59 percent of their water for industrial use, while low-income countries use 8 percent (2).


  1. U.S. Geological Survey. Industrial Water Use. Available at
  2. Commission for Environmental Cooperation. North American Environmental Atlas: Water Use in the U.S. Available at