There are two ways in which we can classify our water use. One type is in-stream use; this
includes hydroelectric power, boating and swimming, for example. While in-stream activities do
not use up the water, they can degrade the water quality through pollution. The other type of
water use is the withdrawal of water, and this classification includes household use, industry use,
irrigation, livestock watering and thermal and nuclear power. Most withdrawals are
consumptions, meaning that the activity uses the water and does not return it to the source.