New York City drinking water is world-renowned for its quality. Each day, more than 1 billion gallons of fresh, clean water is delivered from large upstate reservoirs—some more than 125 miles from the City to the taps of nine million customers throughout New York state.
Just less than 9 billion gallons of water are withdrawn each day from the lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries and groundwaters of New York State (excluding Nassau and Suffolk counties) for uses that include public supply, thermoelectric power generation, agriculture, commercial/industrial, recreational and more.
Thermoelectric power is by far the most significant of all water use categories, accounting for more than 70% of total water withdrawn. Public water supply accounts for the next largest use at 20%. Five percent of water used is for industrial and commercial purposes. Agricultural water use comes to less than 1% of state-wide water use.
Water is a valuable limited resource that must be used efficiently in order to meet the challenge of supporting the varied and increasing water uses of New Yorkers. They use water for drinking, irrigation, producing electricity, cooking, manufacturing industrial products, cleaning, and more. Large and small users alike must take part in reducing their consumption of this vital resource. Conserving water saves energy and money, helps protect and preserve the environment, and helps meet future needs.