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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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