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Water in the 21st Century: The National Water Census

Information presented is factual at the time of creation.
If no transcript and/or closed-caption is available, please notify us.
[NOTE: in some cases, the lecture transcripts have been edited for clarity.]

Eric Evenson: Good evening everyone.


Can everybody hear me OK? Great.

Thanks. And I also appreciate you

coming out on such a rainy, and windy,


and cold night to hear about the Water


Census. Just starting out with a little


levity. Dan mentioned that I went to


the University of Nebraska, and grew up in Nebraska.



And of course in Nebraska you know our


saying is, the N stands for knowledge.


[Laughter]


OK. I want to talk to you tonight about


a program in the USGS that we call The


National Water Census. And what is a


Water Census? Well, first of all it's


part of our strategic plan. In 2007 we


completed a strategic plan that covers


what you see on the right hand side of


the screen there.



And one of the major themes of that is


a Water Census for the United States,


quantifying, forecasting, and securing


fresh water for our Nation’s
future.


Our objective as part of the Water


Census is to place technical


information and tools into the hands of


stakeholders allowing them to answer


two primary questions about water


availability. Does the nation have


enough fresh water to meet both human


as well as ecological needs?



And will the water be present to meet


the future needs. And when we say


stakeholders we think of that very


broadly. Our stakeholders are the


public. They are also the water


management agencies who struggle with


these questions from a regulatory of


planning basis and the like.



There are also the biological resources


managers and stakeholders. And the non-


governmental agencies organizations


that care about these resources very


deeply. Just to give you a definition


on water availability analysis, what


we're talking about there is the


process of determining the quantity and


timing characteristics of water, which


is of sufficient quality to meet both


human and ecological needs.

That's kind of the core of the analysis that



managers struggle with in determining


do we have enough water? Is it of


adequate quality? Is it there at the


times that we needed in order to satisfy these needs.



I also want to just emphasize that


water availability analysis is part


technical information, but it's also


socioeconomic considerations, legal,


regulatory, and even political


considerations that have to be taken into account.



And at USGS we deal with the technical


information aspect of it. So, at USGS


we don't make determinations of water


availability, we help others make


determinations of water availability


and we do that through providing the


technical information, the technical
basis for those analysis.


You'll hear me talk a little bit about


an initiative called WaterSMART, and


that's kind of a label for us and a


brand. And so, what is WaterSMART? It's


a Department of Interior budget


initiative on water availability and


conservation that is coordinated out of


our Office of the Assistant Secretary


for Water and Science.



That's the Assistant Secretary that's



over both the US Geological Survey and



the Bureau of Reclamation. That


individual is Anne Castle and within


the USGS the main activity that's


associated with the WaterSMART funding


initiative is the National Water Census.

Over the Bureau of Reclamation they


actually have three major activities:


associated with the first are river



basin supply and demand studies that



are designed to dovetail with what


we're doing in the water census.


A program called "Title 16" that


provides funding for communities to do


water reclamation and water reuse. Such


things as building desalination


facilities or advance treatment for


waste water, so that it can be reused as a water supply.



And then they also have their


WaterSMART brands, which are


conservation grants that are given out


to entities to conduct water


conservation activities. And they have


brought goals associated with each of these.


So, one question also that probably


comes up is, 'how did we get to this


point where we're talking about a


national census of water in the


country'. And for those of you who have


been involved is this field for some


time, you may remember back to the


1960s and 70s when there was an entity


called the US Water Resources


Council.
And the USGS was a


participating agency in the US Water


Resources Council. The council used to


put out the decadal analysis of water


availability for the country. The last


one of which was put out in 1978. The


council was disbanded as an


organization in 1980.



And since that time there is not been a


comprehensive national assessment of


water availability in over 30 years.


So, we feel that it is really high time


that a program like the water census


gets underway. In 2002 Congress asked


us to produce a national framework so


to speak, a national plan for how we


would approach an assessment of water


availability and use across the


country.

And we produced that and it's published


in our circular 1223. In 2005 directly


associated with the release of the


recommendations in circular 1223


Congress funded a pilot study on water


availability in the Great Lakes.



And some of you might ask, hmm water


availability in the Great Lakes, a


place that's got about one fifth of


available fresh water - flowing fresh


water present there. The chairman of


our appropriations committee who


commissioned these studies was from the Great Lakes Basin.



So, it seemed like a good place to do


the pilot study. Then that study lasted


for five years, and I will be talking


about a number of the products that


came out of the pilot study tonight. In


2007 our strategic plan of our agency


came out with the Water Census as the


one of the major six themes in the


plan.


In 2007 also a report came


out of the office of science and


technology policy -- their sub-


committee on water availability and


equality -- and it outlined the roles


of all federal agencies on working on


water availability and identify the


activities in the USGS as promoting -in


terms of promoting the need for a Water Census.


Probably even a significant thing that


has occurred in the last decade on


getting us to where we're at now and


the last year and the Water Census is


the passage of the Secure Water Act.


This happened in 2009. SECURE in this


case is an acronym; it stands for


Science and Engineering to


Comprehensively Understand and


Responsibly Enhance water.


And the acronym is sometimes hard to



remember. Also in 2009 the National


Research Council released a report


called “towards a sustainable and


secure water future.” And that report


also highlighted the need for a


national water census.



And then finally in 2011, the President


included in his budget request to


Congress the WaterSMART initiative to


jumpstart activities both in the USGS


as well as the Bureau of Reclamation.



So, how do we go about accounting for


water availability from a technical


perspective? Well, we use something


called the 'water budget'. And the


water budget is really very similar to


the budget that you all for your


finances at home.


It accounts for all the inputs and the


outputs from a given watershed just the


same as your family budget accounts for


all the inputs and all the deposits and


withdrawals from your account. And it


looks at how much is in storage or how


much reserve you might have in your accounts.



And the types of factors that influence


it. So, just to highlight a couple of


those aspects, the green arrows


represents exchanges with the


atmosphere, precipitation coming into


the watershed, evapotranspiration going


out, the amount of water that's


evaporated or transpired by plants and trees.


The blue arrows represent exchanges of


water within the watershed or between


the surficial system in the ground


water. So, it includes fresh water


inflow and outflow, ground water


surface water interaction, exchanges


between deep ground water systems and


shallow, and the flow through the


ground water system.


And finally the gray arrows represent man's


influence on water availability -- are


withdrawals from ground water and


surface water, and are return of some


of that water back to the land surface


through such things as waste water


return flows, agricultural return


flows, or irrigation.


So, our effort in the Water Census is


to start quantifying each one of these


exchanges. We can write simple or


complex equations that represent each


one of these exchanges in the


environment. And we can look at those


interactions either on very large


scales or very small scales.



Or over long time periods or short time


periods. In our effort in the Water


Census is going to be to look at that


on relatively small scales and short


time periods and aggregate that


information up.



So, let's look at that a little bit.


First of all we want to deliver a


nationwide system that allows users to


access all of this information about



water supply. And when I say the supply


cited the equation, I mean all the


things that bring the water or affect


water on the natural landscape –


precipitation, evapotranspiration,


storage, reservoirs, lakes, ice in


snowfield, surface water flows, ground


water flows -- including things like


recharge rates -- and changes in water


levels of aqua forms.



And we also want to look at all the


factors on what we call the demand side


of the equation. How is water used and


one certainly very important aspect


among those are the ecological water


needs.




How much water do we need to lead in


the environment to maintain a healthy


ecosystem. As well as what are the


human uses of water? The withdrawals,


the return flows, how do we


consumptively use water, and what are


our run of the river uses?


So, let's talk a little bit about how


we go about delivering that


information. Well, today you can


download this map of our USGS Website.


If you go to our Water Watch homepage


that's listed right here at the bottom.



You can download the map, and the data


behind this map that gives you


estimated monthly runoff for every “HUC


8,” (and I’ll explain to you what that


is in just a second) For every


watershed at the HUC 8 level,



throughout the entire lower 48 states –


- and in not too long a time we'll be


able to include Hawaii, Alaska, and the


Caribbean Islands in this as well.



[Editor’s note: HUC stands for


“Hydrologic Unite Code”


http://water.usgs.gov/GIS/huc.html ]



But today you can download this


map and it gives you estimated runoff


for every one of those watersheds


throughout the country. And you could


not only download that for this month,


you can download it historically for


every month back to 1900.



Let's say, that if you're working on


water management issues and you really


need water estimates at a finer scale,


and monthly information isn't good


enough for you, you need daily


information. You might want to have


this in hand. And that's part of what


we're going to do under the Water Census.


So, let's envision that under the Water



Census you were able to download data


on precipitation, runoff, base flow,


evapotranspiration, recharge, changes


in surface water storage, down to a


watershed equivalent to 35 square miles


every 35 square mile watershed across


the country.



And not only on a monthly basis, but


daily information on this of all these


factors that influence the water


budget. That's one of the goals that


we're shooting for under the Water


Census. Now, we'll be talking about the


activities that we have underway to get there.



As well, you want to be able to work


with this information, so we will be


designing and building a Website


interface on similar to the web


interface that we use in our stream


stats program. Some of you may be


familiar with that program where you


would be able to select an area on the


screen, point and click.



Have the system delineate the watershed


above that point. And then generate all


the information about the water


accounting components and deliver that


information to the Website for you.


Then you'd be able to work with online


tools to construct your own water


budget of that area.


And maybe even change some of the



parameters to see what kind of


influence that would have. And then


also, access information about trends


in those water availability parameters


going back 30 years.



That's the system that we're designing.


Now we have to do various things in


order to accomplish these because even


though we run approximately 7700 stream


gauges across the country, that by no


means gives us estimates of flow down


to the scales that we're talking about.



So, one of the things that we're doing


as part of this program is developing


the means of estimating flows at un-


gauged stations across the country. So,


that any place on the landscape you'd


be able to point and click, and get


estimate of the flow, not just flow


characteristics or flow statistics, but


actual daily flow values for that piece


of the landscape.


We're also working on similar efforts


for evapotranspiration. And as I


mentioned evapotranspiration is the


amount of water that evaporates off the


landscape, or is transpired by plants.


And those of you familiar with that I'm


sure you know that in many places


throughout the world,


evapotranspiration accounts to more


than 50% of the rainfall.



So if you think about that: rainfall is


our source of water, it's our source of


fresh water in this country and


throughout the world. And about 50% of


that or more in most places in the


world evaporates off or is transpired


by plants into the atmosphere.



So, this is a very important aspect of


the water budget to be able to


quantify. We're working in two efforts


on evapotranspiration. One is to just


look at as a broad landscape feature,


how much water is evaporated off the


landscape for an entire


watershed.

But then another aspect of


evapotranspiration is we enhance how


much water evaporates, where we


irrigate agriculture. We're bringing


water in, we're importing it to an


area, we're using it to say, irrigate


crops and grow crops off in an areas


that are arid where the ET rates are


relatively high.



And those plants are transpiring water


off that. We also need to get an


estimate of the amount of ET that's


associated with irrigated cropland


because it's an important part of the


water budget and it's also an important


measure of the consumptive use


associated with the irrigated agriculture.



Another activity that we need to do, to


be able to deliver this information is


we really need to enhance our


understanding throughout the nation of


water use.


And here I'm talking about human water


usage. How much water do we withdraw,


transport, consume, and return to the


environment. And we're going to be


using new methods for estimating water


use across the country.



More use of statistical models like


regression models, you're going to be


developing models of how we can relate


water use, human water use to land use


characteristics. And ultimately what we


want to be able to do is we want to


develop the ability to track the drop


of water that humans use from the point


where it's withdrawn, until it's


ultimately returned to the environment.



So, what are some of the things we need


to do in order to do this? Well, first


I want to just introduce this concept


of what we call ‘conveyance’ and water


use tracking. And envision that this is


a simplistic watershed view here. And


some place within the watershed we pump


water out of the ground and we use it


to integrate cropland, OK?


Now, because we're irrigating that


cropland we're enhancing the amount of


consumptive use. So, that's going to


reduce ground water or surface water


resources as a result of that activity.


We need to be able to quantify that. In


other places we may establish a


community water system and pump that


water up to a piece of landscape where


there's a residential development.



And let's say it's residential


development that's on an un-sewered


land where they're using septic


systems. And that residential piece of


land overlaps a drainage basin.


So, some of that water ultimately gets


to return back through septic system


flow, but the part that's out of the


basin is now a out of basin withdraw to


the flow at that gauging station.



And then we also have the


circumstances where we pump water to


sewered land and the waste water after



it's treated in discharge wholly


without outside of the basin, and


that's a complete deplete of withdrawal to this basin.



So, our water use program in the


country has to be able to characterize


all these kinds of conditions and


account for the human infrastructure


from moving water around. This can get


to be very complex because in this


schematic diagram a water supply


system, you may have a surface water


source and multiple sets of well field


in various parts of the system, that


ultimately distribute water to the


population where they use it. And then


the wastewater will be collected and


discharged in another location. So,


this is the whole idea of being able to


track water through the human


infrastructure. As I mentioned this can


get to be very complex. And this


diagram that's done in the hydrologic


unit code six-digit basin for the upper


Colorado demonstrates just how complex


that can become. Now, just to orient


you over on the right hand side here


would be Rocky Mountain National Park


in the continental divide, OK.



So, the city of Denver is right of over


here. And then this watershed stretches


over to about Grand Junction, Colorado,


so we have all the landscape in


between. And the dots that you see in


the map are the 12,500 irrigation


diversions that occur within the


Colorado River Basin.



Some of those are carrying water outside of the basin to


satisfy irrigation needs. And just


zooming in a little bit on the Vail,



Colorado area you can see the number of


diversions and the complexity that occurs with this.



And as I mentioned, these are just the


irrigation diversions, it doesn't


include water use for other types of


needs. So, what kinds of water use


needs do we include in our analysis?


Well, this bar chart shows the


magnitude of freshwater and salt-water


withdrawals for various human uses


across the country.



And they're in ranked order. 49 percent


of all the withdrawals in this country


are used for thermal electric power


generation. That's a lot of times


surprising to people, but extremely


large volumes of water have to be


withdrawn for thermal electric power


generation.



Now once through cooling facilities


much of that water -the vast


majority of it is returned back to the


stream unevaporated - but in the case


of facilities have a cooling tower and


the like, much of the water that's


withdrawn will be evaporated. It


depends largely on the technology that they used.



31 percent of all the water that's


withdrawn in the country is used for


irrigation. And irrigation is the 800-


pound gorilla when it comes to


consumptive use because the vast


majority of that water is either


evaporated or transpired by plants.



So, these two categories alone account


for 80 percent of all the water use in


the United States. 11 percent is used


for public supply, so this is the water


that we used in our homes, plus the


water that's withdrawn and delivered to


industries and commercial


establishments within the service area


those public community systems supply.



And then self-supplied industrial water


accounts for an additional 4 percent.


So, 95 percent of all the water that's


withdrawn in the country are from those


four categories. Then we have four


small categories including self-


supplied domestic, that's -everybody


who has their own individual domestic well.



Livestock which is less than 1 percent,



mining which is about 1 percent, and



aqua culture which is 2 percent. Let me


just go back briefly, we've been


accumulating information on water use


at the USGS for a very long time, since


1950. And every five years we put out a


report called ‘Compilation of Water Use


in the United States.’



And just want to give you a quotation


from the National Research Council


report on the significance that they


see in this data that we produce. And


this is a direct quote.

"This “reports estimated water use in


the United States, have been published


every five years since the 1950s and


are one of the most widely cited


publications of the USGS." So, it's a


very significant activity and effort


that we have and one that we need to


even do a better job on if we are going


to deliver a good Water Census.



Part of what we do with these data is


we are able to look at trends in the


country. And I think this is a very


interesting chart -- kind of


surprising to a lot of people to know


that this line is our population growth


since 1950 through 2005.

And of course population is along over


here on the right axis. On the left


axis are hundreds of billions of


gallons of withdrawal. And you'll


notice that was rising very rapidly


until about 1980.


And then it dropped and leveled off


during that time. So, actually over


this entire period our per capita use


of water has actually decreased since


1980. And this is due to a variety of


factors including regulatory programs


that were put in place, water


conservation activities, industry


cutting back on the amount of water


that they use so that they produce less


waste water that would have to be treated and the like.



I want to go on to another type of


water use -a very important type of


water use that people often don't think


about. It's become much more present in


our thoughts in the last two decades,


but prior to that got little play and a


little accounting in our water availability analysis.



And that was the water needs for


wildlife and habitat. We refer to this


as ‘ecological water science’ or


‘ecological flow science.’



And it's a rapidly developing research area


throughout the world and one that were


very interested here at the USGS. Some


of the things that we want to be able


to provide to the country are


classification system so that we can




classify our water bodies as to their
hydro ecological type.



What type of aquatic environment do our


rivers support? We also want to produce


tools and data that allow managers to


systematically assess ecological


effects of change in the hydrology.


When they alter it, what happens?



Do we still have the same species there


that we did before? How does that


change? And we want to assist users in


developing water alteration flow


alteration ecological response


relationships, which are kind of the


building blocks that people use for


ultimately setting ecological flow


objectives. And again we at USGS don't


set those flow objectives, but states


are very active and interested in this


process today. Along with non-


governmental organizations, like the


Nature Conservancy. OK. Other things


that we have to do in the Water Census,


we need to expand our activities in


assessing groundwater swell in water availability.



What we do throughout the country is we


are systematically analyzing what we


refer to as principle aquifers. These


shaded areas on this colored map


represent the 63 principal aquifers


that account for the vast majority of


ground water usage throughout the country.



And actually the top 30 of those, the


30 principle aquifers if ranked in


water-use order account for 94% of all


the groundwater that's used in the
United States.


So, understanding what


happens in these three-dimensional


systems is an extremely important part


of the Water Census and how that water


is moved to the surface, how it's used,


and how it's disposed off.



So, we need to know things such as


recharge values, groundwater yields,


changes in storage, trends in


groundwater indices and groundwater and


surface water interactions to name a
few.



And we will do that through


strengthening the USGS programs for


studying groundwater availability.


Another issue that we're called to do


as part of the Secure Water Act is,


Congress told us “we would like to know


about the Nation's brackish groundwater resources.”


So, those are all the areas of


groundwater throughout the United


States that are too salty to use


directly either for public supply, or


in many cases even for irrigation or


livestock purposes.


And they're quite widely distributed


throughout the country. Most times


these resources are deep and the color


coding is showing you the depth to


saline water in these various areas.


They tend to be areas that we don't


know a lot about from a water supply perspective.



Most of the people would drill into


these are looking for energy supplies.


They're looking for oil or they're


looking for natural gas and that's


where a lot of the data on this has historically come from.



So, Congress has asked us, we want to


know the locations of the resource, the


hydrologic and water quality


properties, and currently who's using


them. And there are communities they're


using saline groundwater and treating


it for their water supply. But of


course that tends to be a very expensive proposition.



We also of course want to know the


issue about quality, what is water


quality's role in water availability?


How does water quality impairment limit


our access to water?


And it doesn't have to be so bad that


you can't use the water, it just has to


be bad enough to make it more


expensive. And all of a sudden your


influencing decisions that people make


about water availability due to water quality.



So, we want to use the strength of the


USGS water quality programs to


determine the degree to which water


quality impairs water availability.


Define the main compounds that are


important to analyze, relate water use,


relate water quality to water use in


return flows and look at the trends.



The last aspect I'm going to talk about


tonight relative to the Water Census is


we've developed a notion of conducting


focused water availability assessments


in smaller watersheds rather than


tackling the entire Nation at once so


that we can learn certain things about


how to relate some of this information


and integrate it together to give us a


comprehensive picture of water


availability.

And so, in basins like the Colorado


River Basin, we've been working with


state, local, and regional stakeholders


to define a set of technical questions


that are important to understand about


these watersheds in order to better


understand water availability.



And then we bring the various programs


that the USGS to bare on answering


those questions and developing a


comprehensive picture. We have three


basins that we're concentrating on


right now. The Apalachicola


Chattahoochee Flint River Basins in the southeast.



It's the last time I'll say it in long


hand, it's the ACF Basin for short. For


those of you who don't know where that


is, that's in the Atlanta area and


south out there. The Colorado River


Basin, and the Delaware in the


northeast.

And there are some important aspects of


these basins of why they were selected


and what about water availability


stresses makes these basins good areas


to study. In the Delaware, even though


the Delaware River Basin represents .4%


of the land area of the country, it


delivers water to 15 million people, 5%


of the U.S. population.



And a lot of that is because of water


basin withdrawals. It has had two


supreme court decrees dividing up the


water amongst the various parties that


use it. It has abundant endangered


aquatic species that are at risk within


the basin and you may have read


recently with the development of the


Marcellus Natural Gas Shale play.



There are looming issues with regard to


natural gas development in the upper


basin. In the ACF there has been.


I'm sure you remember the Georgia


Florida Alabama water wars, the


competition over the resource in


particular, a tug of war between public


supply and agriculture in the Basin.


Much state litigation that's still
going on today.



In the Colorado, it's got a very fast


growing population within the basin.


Lots of energy development. It's the


backbone of hydropower for the



southwest and we've had declining river


flows over the last 15 years.



So, that is kind of my overview of the


Water Census and our plans. I want to


give you a little picture of the work


that we did in the Great Lakes. And


then we'll open it up for questions.


So, we conducted this pilot study


within the Great Lakes basin, and


that's an aerial photograph of the


basin, of course.



All of the products that you're going


to see are available through our
Website:

water.usgs.gov/wateravailability/greatlakes.



This study and all of our studies we



feel that it is our obligation both to



look at the national emphasis
associated with it.



But also provide the regional focus of


what kind of information can we deliver


that's relevant and usable to regional


and local managers. And biological


resource managers. We developed methods


that were applicable to the national


level, but we responded to Great Lakes


issues and some of you may know that


there's a Great Lakes Compact that has,


as one of its focuses, water availability.



So, a couple of the products that came


out of that. Well, one thing was that


stakeholders within the basin wanted to


get a much greater current and more


accurate definition of regional


recharge within the basin.


Because much of the water that's used


within this basin does not come from


the lakes themselves, it comes from


ground water resources or small streams


on the landscape where the water is


being delivered.



So, understanding how recharge varies


across the landscape was a very


important factor. Another one with


regard to groundwater, are how are the


groundwater divides within the basin


shifting over time as a result of pumpage.


Now just to orient you on this, of


course here's the Chicago area. This


line here, this dotted line comes very


close into the lake and then back out.


That's the surface water divide for the


basin. The historical groundwater


divides were a little bit further out.


So, water, groundwater on this side was


flowing towards the lakes.


But as a result of a lot of the pumpage


within the Great Lakes basin we've been


pulling those groundwater divides


further to the west. And with that, we


change the flow regime to the lakes. It


was important for us to document that,


and that has become part of the


regulatory considerations that the


Great Lakes Basin uses.



You may have read about some of the


interstate lawsuits that were happening


over the Waukesha area. Another issue


in the Great Lakes is just how had the


natural trends manifest themselves over


the last 50 years.



And interestingly the gold circles are


streamgages where base flow has been


increasing over the last 50 years. And


you'll notice that the vast majority of


the places depicted on this map stream


flows is actually increasing over
time.


Well, that can be associated


with the climate signal. A climate


signal in which more water is


evaporating off the lakes and falling


as precipitation on the landscape. And


this is the issue that we're looking at very carefully.



Stream flows have been showing distinct


increase over that 50-year time in most


parts of the basin. Another issue


that's been very present is lake-level


variability. Some of you may have read


that within the last decade, water


levels in Lake Superior have fallen so


low that oar boats carrying or through


Sue Saint Marie Canal have to go


through partially loaded.


Because there's not enough draft, not


enough hydrologic stage to get those


barges through fully loaded. Likewise,


lake-levels have been dropping in the


Lake Michigan and Lake Heron


system.



So, the stakeholders within


the basin said: 'we'd like to see how



lake-level variability within the last



measured record', and that's this


little part right over here that's the


last 150 years ‘relates to the long


term paleo record.’ So, we put together


a 5,000-year history of lake-level


variability in the Great Lakes Basin.



And you can see that actually in


current time, we're pushing the bottom


of the limit in terms of where lake-


level variability has been since just post the last Ice Age.

Another issue in the Great Lakes that's


very important to them, they manage


based upon consumptive use in the


basin. And if you are going to develop


a new project in the Great Lakes that


has more than 5 million gallons per day


of consumptive use, your project has to


be elevated to all eight Governors and


two provincial Governors in Canada for


review before that project can be


approved. So, a very important


issue was, what are appropriate


consumptive use co-efficients to be use


in the basin? How do theirs compare


with climatically similar areas


throughout the country? And how does


consumptive use vary on a seasonal and


monthly basis?



And so this was part of the products


that we developed in the Great Lakes.


And then of course we put together an


overall water budget for the entire


system. And just a couple of highlights



that come out of that, of course we


assess groundwater as resource, and


groundwater within the Great Lake


system is on the magnitude of adding an


entire another Great Lake.


And of course it's in the tens of


trillions of gallons flowing in the


system. The annual outflow of the Great


Lakes is 1% of the storage. So, the


amount of water that's going out


through the same Saint Lawrence seaway


represents about 1% of all the water


that is stored in the system.


Water-use throughout all the Great


Lakes amounts to about 65,000 cubic


feet per second, a relatively small


amount of that annual outflow. And the


consumptive use is about 3,000 cubic


feet per second. Now that just puts it


in perspective in terms of an entire


watershed the size of the Great Lakes.



Does that mean that water use and


consumptive use are not important?


Absolutely not. Because we not only as


water managers need to look at the


entire system, but how that plays out


within our local watersheds. So, this


is just giving you an overall
picture.


As I mentioned our reports



through the Great Lakes study are


available on this Website. This


represents the approximately 15


technical products that were produced


as part of the Great Lake study over



the five-year period. And I invite you


and urge you to go and take a look at


the Great lakes Website and the work
that we've done there.



And I just want to conclude by saying,


again our objective as part of the


Water Census is to place technical


information and tools into the hands of


our stakeholders, stakeholders defined


broadly, so that they can answer the


questions that they're facing about water availability.



Again, my name is Eric Evenson, I'm the


Water Census coordinator. I am located


in beautiful Trenton, New Jersey about


three hours north of here. And there is


my phone number and my Email address.


And I'd be happy to answer any


questions that you have. Thank you.

Details

Title: Water in the 21st Century: The National Water Census

Description:

Eric Evenson, coordinator of the National Water Census discuses a new set of water resource challenges brought on by the 21st century. Even in normal water years, water shortages and use conflicts have become commonplace in many areas of the United States — especially competition among crop irrigation, growing cities and communities, and energy production. Over the next 10 years, the USGS plans to conduct a new assessment of water availability and use. This national Water Census will address critical aspects of recent Federal legislation, including the need to establish a national water assessment program.

Location: Reston, VA, USA

Date Taken: 12/1/2011

Length: 43:23

Video Producer: Melanie K. Gade , U.S. Geological Survey


Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Source:

For more information go to: Public Lecture Series: Science in Action

File Details:

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Tags: CropIrrigation EnergyProduction NationalWaterCensus PublicLectureSeries ScienceInAction WaterSMART Waterwatch

 

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