The primary use of fresh water is to sustain life, as all forms of life on Earth require it. Aside from drinking some other major uses are for irrigation, sewage systems, cleaning, electricity production and as a means of transportation.
Water is used in homes for drinking, cleaning, food preparation, maintaining lawns and plants, and removing sewage waste. Commercial use is very similar but usually operates on a larger scale in facilities such as hotels, office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers and military bases.
Water is used in many different industries for cooling, cleaning, processing and diluting. Transportation of materials and goods by river or ocean can also be classified as an industrial use of water.
Irrigation provides water to crops on a large scale at farms and orchards. Irrigation is also needed to maintain pastures for livestock grazing. Other agricultural uses of water include crop cooling, freeze protection, chemical application and the leaching of salts from root zones.
Thermoelectric or hydroelectric power can be produced by water. Water is also vital to other forms of energy production for cooling or the creation of steam.
Water is also used in mining for the extraction of some minerals. Most countries also keep significant fresh water reserves in the event of an emergency.