Offstream Use

Published: September 10, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Offstream Use Mean?

Offstream use occurs when groundwater (from a spring, well or aquifer) or surface water, such as a river or stream, is diverted from its source for another, often human-related, useful purpose. Using water from a well on personal property to wash a car or diverting water from a river to wash down a tunnel boring machine are examples of the use of groundwater or surface water for offstream use.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Offstream Use

The the only uses of intracontinental water that serve humankind in a non-transportation, non-recreational manner are water's offstream uses. Where water is relatively scarce, offstream use factors – including types and quantities of offstream use allowed – have resulted in wars, feuds and other violent confrontations. In the western United States, large bodies of state law are related to "water rights" with sometimes onerous and illogical constraints placed on property owners and offstream users. Issues also include irrigation and other agricultural and farm-related uses.


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