Uses of Water
All living things, including humans, depend on water to survive. But water is not only used for survival, it has many uses. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Utah’s Division of Water Quality have created broad categories of these “beneficial uses” of surface waters: sources of drinking water, recreational uses, support for aquatic animals and ecosystems, and agricultural uses. Across the country, states and tribes have developed specific, measurable criteria that are used to protect these beneficial uses. Drinking water is protected further through rules established by EPA and Utah’s Division of Drinking Water. Below, you’ll find more information on these different uses of water.
HOUSEHOLD USE AND DRINKING WATER
Most of us get our drinking water from the tap, but it is important to know where that water comes from. Some households receive water from public water systems, where the water is tested regularly. Other households have private wells, where the water comes directly from the groundwater.Learn More About Drinking Water
Recreational waters include those used for swimming, boating, and fishing. These water bodies are protected for both our health and aesthetics.Learn More About Recreation
FISHERIES AND AQUATIC LIFE
Entire aquatic ecosystems must meet strict water quality criteria to sustain the life that lives in them.Learn More About Fisheries
About 80% of all of the water in Utah is used for agriculture, including crop irrigation and watering livestock.
HYDROPOWER AND OTHER USES
Hydropower accounts for 13% of the total energy used in the United States.