On November 09, 2014 at 08:03AM, Tom at Watery Foundation published the following article:
The U. S. Geological Survey finally released their report on 2010 water use in the United States. The big message is that national water use has decreased significantly. Total fresh water withdrawals decreased by 13% between 2000 and 2010. Public water supply–down 5%. Irrigation (mostly agricultural)–down 9%.
The recent USGS report on Florida water use also quantifies striking trends of decreasing water withdrawals. Total fresh water withdrawals from 2000-2010 decreased by 22%, public water supply decreased by 9%, and agricultural withdrawals went down by 16%.
The national report also allows us to compare Florida to other states. Saline water use, primarily in thermoelectric plants, is far greater in Florida than anywhere else. (That makes sense because of cooling water opportunities on a long coastline.) Agricultural irrigation quantities in Florida, although much smaller than in some Western states, are nonetheless the largest in the East. Total groundwater withdrawals in Florida in 2010 (2,010 mgd) are exceeded only by California (2,830 mgd). The Florida groundwater total is 12.8% of all United States groundwater withdrawals-maybe that is why spring flows are in trouble?
The lack of growth in overall demand for water should allow attention to focus only on those areas and water use categories that actually are increasing rapidly. It also allows us to focus on what is presently a much more serious problem: water pollution.