mining water use

What is mining water use?

mining water use meaning water used for the extraction of naturally occurring minerals including solids (such as coal, sand, gravel, and other ores), liquids (such as crude petroleum), and gases (such as natural gas).  Also includes uses associated with quarrying, milling and other preparations customarily done at the mine site, injection of water for secondary oil recovery or for unconventional oil and gas recovery (such as hydraulic fracturing), and other operations associated with mining activity.  Does not include water associated with dewatering of the aquifer that is not put to beneficial use. Also does not include water used in processing, such as smelting, refining petroleum, or slurry pipeline operations.  These processing uses are included in industrial water use.

  • 1950-1980: included in Industrial
  • 1985 and later: Mining

See also industrial water use and self-supplied water use, and Methods for Estimating Water Withdrawals for Mining in the United States, 2005.


reference: USGS – Water Use Terminology