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Map of consumptive use and renewable water supply by major river basin

Comparisons of average consumptive use and renewable water supply for the 21 water-resources regions of the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands

(U.S. Geological Survey, 1984; updated using 1995 estimates of water use)

The renewable water supply is the sum of precipitation and imports of water, minus the water not available for use through natural evapotranspiration and exports. Renewable water supply is a simplified upper limit to the amount of water consumption that could occur in a region on a sustained basis. Requirements to maintain minimum flows in streams leaving the region for navigation, hydropower, fish, and other instream uses limit the amount of the renewable supply available for use. Also, total development of a surface-water supply is never possible because of increasing evaporative losses as more reservoirs are used. Nevertheless, the renewable supply compared to consumptive use is an index of the degree to which the resource has already been developed.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1984, National Water Summary 1983-Hydrologic events and issues: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2250.

USGS Water Use in the United States

Last updated Monday, 24-Feb-2014 14:37:43 EST
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