MD-DE-DC WSC Water Use & Water Supply Capabilities

Estimated use of water in the United States

Estimated use of water in the United States

Water use in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be about 322 billion gallons per day (Bgal/d), which was 9 percent less than in 2010.

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Comprehensive Assessment of Water Supply in Maryland

Comprehensive Assessment of Water Supply in Maryland

Several state and local agencies, including the USGS, MDE, MGS, and Maryland DNR, took a comprehensive look at water resources in Maryland.

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Drought forecasting in northeastern United States

Drought forecasting in northeastern United States

USGS Water Science Centers in the northeast U.S. have combined resources and methodologies to produce a factsheet describing the drought forecasting techniques to predict droughts for streamflow and groundwater.

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Science Center Objects

The MD-DE-DC WSC works with state and local agencies to collect, estimate, review, and compile water use information.  Data are used in USGS groundwater and watershed models, and other USGS studies.  The data are also compiled and incorporated into the USGS national estimates of water-use.  WSC staff currently participate in various national water use projects focused on improving water use estimates for various categories of use including thermo-electric power generation, irrigation, public supply, and self-supplied domestic.

Water supply in the area that the MD-DE-DC WSC serves comes surface water (streams and rivers), groundwater (fractured rock aquifers and Coastal Plain aquifers), and reservoirs. Water is a vital component of human existence, as well as critical to all forms of life. In order to protect and preserve this resource for future generations, we must have a baseline of information to make decisions. Decision and policy makers must know the answers to three fundamental questions: where is the water used, how is it used, and how much is used.

While Maryland, Delware and the DIstrict of Columbia all fall within the green zone, as far as water use goes, our placement on that list comes from years of hard-fought regulation, convincing policy makers that water, although seemingly an enless resource, is anything but. In fact, in some parts of the world it can be as valuable as gold. Especially when it's clean, potable water.