DENVER
06/23/2011 01:07 pm ET | Updated Aug 23, 2011

Pacific Institute Colorado River Usage Report: Increased Consumption Overall, Decreased Per Capita

A report released Thursday by the Pacific Institute indicates that Colorado water usage from the Colorado River basin decreased from 1990 to 2008 by an average 19%.

All Colorado cities except Broomfield saw a decrease in per capita consumption from 1990 to 2008, with the greatest decrease in Greeley (-42%).

While Colorado Springs has seen a population increase of 40 percent since 1990, per capita usage has decreased from 202 gallons per day to 180 -- an 11 percent drop.

Aurora residents were most efficient in their water usage in 2008, with an average of 137 gallons per capita per day. Pueblo citizens, on the other hand, were the least efficient that year, topping out at 232 gallons per capita per day.

The report's authors note that some of Colorado's front-range cities do not rely on water predominantly from the Colorado River basin. As a result, their usage statistics may be negligible or skewed. Thornton and Westminster, for instance, collect much of their water from surface and groundwater supplies.

Also worthy of note: while per capita usage has decreased, overall consumption has increased. The total Colorado population reliant on water from the Colorado River basin has increased from 2.3 million in 1990 to over 3.1 million in 2008.