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INDUSTRIAL WATER USE

Every manufactured product, whether it be steel, paper, lumber, chemicals, gasoline, or oil must use water in some capacity during its creation. Even though industrial water use only comprises five percent of Utah's total public use, it is vital to the many businesses that utilize it. This five percent equals 28 million gallons per day of fresh, culinary water that Utah's public systems deliver to various industries. Nationally, industrial water use encompasses about twelve percent of all public water supply deliveries, or 4,750 million gallons per day!

Industrial water is not only supplied by public entities. In fact, most of the industrial water used in Utah - 92 percent or 320 million gallons per day - is self-supplied, meaning the industry has its own well or other water source. If an industry is self-supplied, the water may be from fresh or saline (salt water) sources. In Utah, about half the industrial self-supplied water use is saline, which makes sense when considering the largest lake west of the Mississippi River, the Great Salt Lake, is in our backyard! The industries that use Great Salt Lake water are salt and mineral producers. Water is diverted from the lake to evaporation ponds, where salt and other minerals, such as magnesium, are extracted.

In Utah, power generation is another important industrial water use. Unlike the salt and mineral producers, this water is not consumptively used. To generate power, Lake Powell water is released and flows through the massive turbines at Glen Canyon Power Plant. This water is not consumptively used because it simply passes through on its journey to the Gulf of California. The minimum amount of water that must be run through the turbines is 7.3 billion gallons per day. On average though, more water runs through the plant, generating roughly 16.5 GigaWatt-hours of power per day!