Title: Generally Speaking, U.S. has Plenty of Water
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000757/00001
 Material Information
Title: Generally Speaking, U.S. has Plenty of Water
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: U.S. Water News
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: U.S. Water News Article August, 1986
General Note: Box 7, Folder 2 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 33
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000757
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


IllA dijgJd%1. 1981;

ftIe 1

Generally speaking, U.S. has plenty of water

WASHINGTON In it. recently
reklsed "National Water Summary,
195.' the U.S Geological Survey
i USGS ask.,. "Are' te running out of
water"' and anls ir.- its Own quest
tion with the response, "Certainly
not on a national level."
As proof USGS offers the facts that
hetirsen 1951 and 1960 the total an-
nual renewable water supply of the
mainland U.S. wa.- 1.37 trillion gal.
Ion2 per day. or enough to cover the
48 state. to depth of about 8.5 inches
vach year. The amount used, plu-
that evap.ionirard. which is,, rvc cidl
.1 nlll 9 percent of'the total.
Th- repIorl. which focusrI. on sui-
fauce atter. say.- this source provides
77 percent of the nation's total
fre-.hwater use. including 65 percent

of the public supplies and 74 percent
of industries, excluding thermoelec-
tric power generation.
Allerlc:a's major water supply
problems stem from the fact that the
distributionn is uneven and does not
match population. according to the
USGS. Only 0.6 percent of the an-
nual renewable water supply is con-
sumed in New England. fur example.
while nearly) the ent ire supply is con-
sumed in Colorado.
Water supply also varies
seasonally. Most rivers have distinct
periol- of high (l no followed by peri-
od- ofilo ilo\\u. and the pattern of hu
mani water need., often does not
coincide with the seasonal patterns
of stream flows
To compensate for the differences
between nature's supply and man's
needs, the U.S. has developed 2.654
reservoirs and controlled lakes. The
574 largest provide 90 percent of the
stored water supply.
To help further in solving the wa
ter imbalance. the USGS report calls
fin better li .mana1ge'.iment of existing
wa;itI supil)ic. "'11Th high cost of con.
lstructino. entmiirlnmentatl cuncern's.
legal con(liraints and increasing
con|lmtitln(il for water provide a n."w
urge'ncyv tI thie mned." it sas. "New
preItict., g{Lenerally are designed and
devtloup.d independentlltl of testing
prIy' t ,. ith, linIlled attimpli ati
upelaling w.ter supl)lp projects as
iti'grate'd I gional syvttmi.
It itii'nlt se)'le.il plroni .itn develop
nwnt,. however, such ia, millions of

dollars saved and water supplies in-
creased by implementing better
management and integrating re-
gional systems.
The USGS also notes water is in-
creasingly becoming a valuable
economic commodity. Water transac-
tions, whereby one jurisdiction ex-
changes water use or rights with
another, are occurring more often.
Water banks, in which scarce water
supplies are transferred from willing
sellers to buyers. are also more fie-
quently used. As example.. the
USGS says that during the 1976 77
drought in California 42.544 acre
feet of water was sold with an
average price of $61 per acre foot
Idaho's Water Supply Bank leased
276.167 acre feet on the upper Snake
River in 1984.
To provide current information on
hydrologic conditions, an aid in im-
proving water management, the
USGS has a network of 70 minicom.
puters. which receive automated
data from 1.500 hydroluogi stations
through the Gteo,-t.titlui.lar Opera
lional EliviinaOll tal S'll t lli.tel ,
Ti'te USGS repi-lort shoes that pre
clpitat ion IS the soult re of almost all
freshwater resource. and the most
important factor affTecing the va
liability and availabihti of surface
water resources Average annual
precipid.ition n1 t he' .S is about 30
Inches. p-i year.i and ranlge- Ironi a
few tenths of an inch ptr .tear in de
serl areaa; thI Southh.l thst o) aliilt
400 illches pIr neat in Ha.siali


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