Hydrology - Water Resources Report 18

Distribution and Rate of Water Use in South Carolina, 1994

Joffre E. Castro and Jun Hu


Water use in South Carolina during the past century has increased by 50 percent. In the early 1950’s the State used 44 billion gallons of water per day and by the mid 1990’s, 68 billion. This trend might well continue into the next century. Nearly 98 percent of the water withdrawn, which is mostly surface water, is used by power-generating facilities and is returned to the streams. Of the remaining 2 percent, most is used by public supplies and industries. In 1994, excluding usage for power-generating facilities, South Carolina used 1.1 billion gallons, and the usage was concentrated in five regions: (1) the northwest, the Greenville-Spartanburg-Rock Hill area; (2) the center, the Aiken-Columbia-Florence area; (3) the northeast, the Myrtle Beach-Georgetown area; (4) the southeast, the Charleston area; and (5) the south, the Beaufort-Hilton head area.

Copies of this report are available in the SCDNR's Columbia office.