Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP)
The USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP) was formed in October 2015 in response to the SECURE Water Act passed by Congress in 2009. The goals of WAUSP are to:
To help accomplish these goals, the overall approach adopted is to use water budgets as a unifying theme. The focus is on improving both methods and tools to measure and estimate selected components of the water budget. Selected components include surface water and ground- water availability, as well as evapotranspiration and water use at consistent high-resolution scales, which can be aggregated at geographic and temporal scales. This information is being developed using direct field measurements and through the use of models where direct measurements are not available. A long-term objective of the Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP) is to provide measured or estimated information for all water-budget components on a monthly time step for drainage basins at the 12-digit hydrologic unit code (HUC-12) scale, which average in size at 37 square miles across the nation. This information can then be aggregated for larger watersheds for a broader river basin and national understanding of water availability, use, and trends. The WAUSP is also working to advance our understanding of ecological water needs and developing tools and databases, which will allow resource managers to apply this in their water management decisions.