Water reuse may be one of the best ways to assure future generations of Americans have enough water to live. Most people don’t fully grasp the water scarcity facing the U.S., and the world, today.
But to effectively incorporate water reuse technology into efforts to manage finite water resources, we must have accurate information about how much water we use. The U.S. Geological Survey collected data from each state for a 60-year period from 1950 to 2010 regarding how much water was used over that time.
This information has been published in an interactive model so that use of fresh water during that time period can be accessed. The interactive model can be found at https://owi.usgs.gov/vizlab/water-use/. This chart is the most comprehensive collection of water use data to date.
Two relevant facts were noted in this data. One is that the east and west halves of the country use water very differently. The eastern half of the United States utilizes a majority of their water supply for energy production while the western half of the U.S. uses it more for irrigation.
Another trend noted was a decrease in the amount of water used in industrial processes from about 1970 to 2010. Peak water usage for these processes came in the decade from 1970 to 1980. Then, the amount of water decreased from about 39,000 million gallons per day to about 17,000 million gallons per day in 2010. Improved technologies in water reuse leading to greater efficiency in industrial use fueled this trend.
Understanding how we use water and what changes have transpired will help to predict future use and point out needed improvement in technologies geared to water reuse. Having the kind of data we now have from the U.S. Geological Survey will increase our use of science-based knowledge those who manage water resources can use most effectively.
We must know how much water we use, for what purpose, from what source in order to plan for future needs. Water reuse is one effective way to assure adequate water resources will be available for our children and grandchildren. We must avail ourselves of the technology water treatment companies can use to provide safe water for all purposes and for all generations.
Reusing water won’t solve water scarcity by itself. But it is a vital part of appropriate water management. We do have advanced technologies available today that will allow us to forecast water needs and manage water resources more effectively. Having this data from the USGS will enable us to continue to develop these kinds of technologies.
Interested in learning more about techologies developed to help conserve and recycle water? Contact us today.