Madison’s water usage drops to lowest level in 50 years, officials say
MADISON, Wis. — Water usage in Madison last year was the lowest in 50 years thanks to more efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures, and the Oscar Mayer plant closure, officials said.
Madison Water Utility pumped 9.4 billion gallons of water in 2017, which is the lowest since 1967, according to a release.
Madison has about 95,000 more people than it did 50 years ago, but water use has been on the decline, officials said. People living in single-family homes used about 75 gallons of water per person daily 15 years ago, but in 2016 that number was just over 55.
According to the release, factors contributing to the drop in water use include more efficient appliances, toilets, plumbing fixtures and industrial equipment, as well as a greater community focus on sustainable outdoor watering practices and using drought-tolerant landscaping.
“The Oscar Mayer plant closure has also had an impact on Madison’s water use,” officials said in the release. “When it was at full production, the plant used about 400 million gallons of water a year and was Madison Water Utility’s biggest industrial customer. In 2017, it used just over 79 million gallons.”
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