Where does the water go?Flow diagrams of U.S. and Western water use                                              1/2/2013
U.S. water flows: sources and uses                                     1/2/2013   2
How Western states compare in their water use?                           Nevada, 2,400      120,000            New Mexico,...
California water flow: 2005                              1/2/2013   4
Arizona water flow: 2005                           1/2/2013   5
Colorado water flow: 2005                            1/2/2013   6
Idaho water flow: 2005                         1/2/2013   7
Oregon water flow: 2005                          1/2/2013   8
Montana water flow: 2005                           1/2/2013   9
Utah water flow: 2005                        1/2/2013   10
Wyoming water flow: 2005                           1/2/2013   11
Nevada water flow: 2005                          1/2/2013   12
New Mexico water flow: 2005                              1/2/2013   13
Washington water flow: 2005                              1/2/2013   14
Download more slides and other resources               ecowest.org                                           1/2/2013   15
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Flow diagrams of U.S. and Western water use

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Sankey diagrams from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provide excellent summaries of U.S. water use. This deck includes flow charts for Western states.

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  • Narrative: The United States uses an average of 410 million gallons of water per day. Where does all that water come from, and where does it wind up?In this set of slides, we share some graphics from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that illustrate where the nation’s water supply originates and how that water is used, with a focus on the 11 Western states.
  • Narrative: Here’s an overview of the nation’s water use in 2005. This graphic, also known as a Sankey diagram, depicts water usage by varying the width of the lines according to the magnitude of the flows. Nationwide, we tend to use more surface water than groundwater and the top two users are irrigation for agriculture and cooling for power plants. But while most of the water withdrawn for power plants is eventually returned to the environment, albeit in an altered form, most water devoted to agriculture is consumed or evaporated. Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/
  • Narrative: Now let’s talk about the 11 Western states. First off, we should remember that these states vary widely in their total water use, with California ranked first. By comparison, some inland states, such as Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah, use relatively little water.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/
  • Narrative: California is something of an outlier because its flows include massive quantities of water that are drawn from the ocean and used to cool power plants before being discharged back into the sea. The biggest consumer, by far, is irrigated agriculture, which is predominantly based on surface water in places like the Central Valley, where Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flow, and the Imperial Irrigation District, which is fed by the Colorado River. Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: As we move onto Arizona, it’s important to note that the size of the rectangles and connecting lines are NOT comparable from slide to slide. Arizona, for example, uses about one-seventh as much water as California. Arizona, a very dry state, is also home to a considerable amount of farming along the Colorado River and the Central Arizona Project canal, which extends from the river to Phoenix and Tucson. But the state uses nearly as much groundwater to grow crops. Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: In Colorado, the agricultural sector dominates surfacewater withdrawals from streams, rivers and reservoirs. The purple “public supply” box in this slide and the others represents the water delivered by utilities to homes and businesses. In every Western state, it’s just a fraction of the water devoted to agriculture. Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: One of the notable things about Idaho is the amount of water devoted to aquaculture. The state is the nation’s largest producer of rainbow trout.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: There’s also a fair amount of aquaculture in Oregon.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: In Montana, nearly all of the irrigation for agriculture uses surface water. Mines in the state also use a fair amount of saline groundwater.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: Utah is another big user of saline groundwater in its mining, industrial, and power generation sectors.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: Wyoming uses even more saline groundwater, all of it for mining.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: Nevada’s population is dominated by Las Vegas and surrounding communities, which rely heavily on water from Lake Mead, on the Colorado River.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: By comparison, New Mexico’s public supply relies mostly on groundwater, which is also dominant in the power, mining, and livestock sectors. Nearly all of the surface water that’s used in New Mexico is devoted to agriculture.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Narrative: One notable feature in Washington is the use of seawater for both public supply and commercial/industrial uses.Source: Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryURL: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/water/water_flow_archive/2005USStateWater.pdf
  • Flow diagrams of U.S. and Western water use

    1. 1. Where does the water go?Flow diagrams of U.S. and Western water use 1/2/2013
    2. 2. U.S. water flows: sources and uses 1/2/2013 2
    3. 3. How Western states compare in their water use? Nevada, 2,400 120,000 New Mexico, 3,300 Estimated Wyoming, 4,600 Utah, 5,100 water use Washington, 5,600 in 2005 100,000 Arizona, 6,200 Oregon, 7,200 Montana, 10,000 80,000 Colorado, 14,000Milliongallons per 60,000 day Idaho, 20,000 40,000 California, 46,000 20,000 0 1/2/2013 3
    4. 4. California water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 4
    5. 5. Arizona water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 5
    6. 6. Colorado water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 6
    7. 7. Idaho water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 7
    8. 8. Oregon water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 8
    9. 9. Montana water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 9
    10. 10. Utah water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 10
    11. 11. Wyoming water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 11
    12. 12. Nevada water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 12
    13. 13. New Mexico water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 13
    14. 14. Washington water flow: 2005 1/2/2013 14
    15. 15. Download more slides and other resources ecowest.org 1/2/2013 15

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