Glad You Asked: Does Utah Really Use More Water Than Any Other State?

by Mark Milligan

Author’s Note, July 2023

This article has been archived as the water-use data is from 2010 and 2015. Up-to-date data can be viewed and downloaded from the Utah Division of Water Resources’ Utah Open Water Data Portal.

This article in its original form is available for download below for historical research purposes.

On Water Use Reporting, Utah Division of Water Resources:

When it comes to reporting water use, there is no national standard for what is included and what is not, which makes meaningful comparisons difficult. Some cities and states only report certain types of water use and/or apply a credit for water that is returned to the system. Utah includes all potable, secondary and reuse by all users (residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial) in its gallons per capita per day (GPCD). This all-inclusive accounting method means Utah’s numbers look higher than other cities or states that don’t include all water use in their calculations.

Read More About Utah’s Water Use Reporting

For more information on current water use in Utah, please contact Rachel Shilton with the Utah Division of Water Resources at 801-538-7271 or email

Utah Open Water Data Portal Download Survey Notes, v. 50, no. 2