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USGS Washington Water Science Center

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Ron Lane,
USGS Hydrologist,
934 Broadway,
Suite 300
Tacoma, WA 98402

(253) 552-1604
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Water Use

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9722-9FI - Water-Use Data Collection and Compilation

Problem - Water use in Washington has evolved in the past century from meager domestic and stockwater needs to the present complex requirements of large irrigation projects, municipalities, industrial plants, and power generation facilities. Advances have been made in the ability to control, divert, and develop water, but little attention has been paid to keeping accurate accounts of the actual amounts of water being used. With the ever-increasing competition for water (especially during periods of drought), accurate water-use information could be of considerable value in determining future water availability and making sound resource management decisions.

Objectives - Beginning in FY 1978, the Washington State Department of Ecology, with assistance from the U.S. Geological Survey, will initiate a water-use data-collection program appropriate for the State of Washington. In successive years, the objective will be to build the program to its optimum level and maintain a data-collection and information system that will adequately accommodate, in a timely manner, the needs of all users, in both the State and Federal sectors.

Relevance and Benefits - An important part of the USGS mission is to provide scientific information to manage the water resources of the Nation, and to enhance and protect our quality of life. The future health and welfare of the Nation's population is dependent upon a continuing supply of uncontaminated fresh water. Increasing withdrawals and increasing demands for instream flows are limiting the water available for future use. More comprehensive water-use data and analysis of water-use information are needed to quantify the stress on existing supplies and to better model and evaluate possible water-supply management options to supplement traditional water-supply approaches. By compiling water-use data from numerous sources and reporting it in a common format for all parts of the country, the USGS provides resource managers at all levels of government with vital information needed to make informed decisions about managing their water resources. The results of such efforts provide benefits to our Nation's sustainable health, welfare, and prosperity. The water-use data collected and compiled in this State are an integral part of the nationwide assessment of water supply and demand.

Approach - (1) Develop a local data-base system based on and compatible with NEWSWUDS (New Site Specific Water-Use Data Base) that allows for storage, retrieval, and aggregation of data by Water-Resource Inventory Area, county, latitude-longitude, range-township, and/or project identification; and (2) develop and maintain an extensive data base for water-use information that will be accessible to all users at local, State, and Federal levels.

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