Evaluation of the sustainability of water withdrawals in the United States, 1995 to 2025
|Title||Evaluation of the sustainability of water withdrawals in the United States, 1995 to 2025|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Authors||Roy SB, Ricci PF, Summers KV, Chung CF, Goldstein RA|
|Journal||Journal of the American Water Resources Association|
To evaluate the long term sustainability of water withdrawals in the United States, a county level analysis of the availability of renewable water resources was conducted, and the magnitudes of human withdrawals from surface water and ground water sources and the stored water requirements during the warmest months of the year were evaluated. Estimates of growth in population and electricity generation were then used to estimate the change in withdrawals assuming that the rates of water use either remain at their current levels (the business as usual scenario) or that they exhibit improvements in efficiency at the same rate as observed over 1975 to 1995 (the improved efficiency scenario). The estimates show several areas, notably the Southwest and major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, as being likely to have significant new storage requirements with the business-as-usual scenario, under the condition of average water availability. These new requirements could be substantially eliminated under the improved efficiency scenario, thus indicating the importance of water use efficiency in meeting future requirements. The national assessment identified regions of potential water sustainability concern; these regions can be the subject of more targeted data collection and analyses in the future.