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Multiple uses of water

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Water use refers to water that is being put to beneficial use by humans. Detailed water accounting, however, requires more precise definition of terms.

Water withdrawal is the gross amount of water extracted from any source in the natural environment for human purposes. Differentiating withdrawals by type of source is useful to understand the pressure put on different parts of the system.

Water demand is the volume of water needed for a given activity. If supply is unconstrained, water demand is equal to water withdrawal.

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