Western Water Study: Colorado

Western Water Use Study

Water use for oil and natural gas is not specifically tracked in Colorado, but is included within the industrial water use category. The industrial water use category includes manufacturing and processing of products (including foods, beverages, steel, machinery, chemicals and paper), golf course maintenance, mining, and extraction of minerals, coal, oil and natural gas. The Colorado Water Conservation Board State of Colorado 2050 Municipal and Industrial Water Use Projections identified the largest industrial users as Coors Brewing Company, Colorado Steel Company, Cargill, Swift Company, Kodak, mining facilities, and golf courses. 

The total industrial water use reported in Colorado for 2012 accounts for 0.8% of the total water use reported for the state. Since oil and natural gas is just a subset of that industrial category, total use is much lower than 0.8%, although the exact number is not possible to discern from the available data. However, according to the Deputy State Engineer, the amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing in 2012 was less than 14,000 acre-ft, which is 0.07% of all water used statewide.

Colorado Water Use Pie ChartColorado Water Use Bar Chart