Oil refineries are the top water users in the East Bay, according to the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which released the information only after a suit was brought against it by a local newspaper, the Oakland Tribune. The greatest water user in the East Bay was Chevron Crop., in Richmond. The volume of water it uses, 360 million gallons a month, would have supplied 50,000 people. Union Oil of Rodeo ranked as the second major water user, with 106 million gallons per month. Other refineries hitting the top ten water user list were Chevron Research Co. of Richmond and Pacific Refining of Rodeo. Other than refineries, the largest water user was the Alameda Naval Air Station.
"The results shouldn't come as a surprise -everyone knows refineries use a lot of water," said a water district spokesman. The water is used to turn crude oil into gasoline.