Water Use in U.S. Levels Off

Peter Gleick, water analyst extraordinare. and leader of The Pacific Institute, reveals that water consumption in the US of A has actually declined slightly in recent years, according to the USGS.

This is a big deal, as he says, for this reason: 

Water planners are trained to assume that as population and economies
grow, water use must inevitably grow. This assumption is why we hear
the drumbeat of calls for new supply, new supply, new supply. We argue
that this is false — it is possible to improve the efficiency of water
use, as our studies repeatedly show, and such improvements eliminate the need for expensive and environmentally damaging new supply.USGS_US_Water_Analysis_1900-2005_Page_06623x482

Gleick adds:

If each American today still used 1,940 gallons per day (as we did in
1975), population growth would have caused the U.S. to use an
additional 165 billion gallons per day. That's equal to more than 12
new Colorado Rivers — or enough water for everyone in California, New
York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Michigan. We could never have
supplied that much more water without destroying our remaining rivers,
lakes, aquifers, and aquatic ecosystems. Conservation and efficiency
improvements have saved our butts.

Sometimes I wonder if enviros  and agencies need to learn how to trumpet their successes.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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