Water Use and Availability Science
Demand for water in the U.S. is unevenly distributed. Because of increasing competition for local supplies that could lead to shortages, it is expedient to know how and where water is withdrawn, delivered, and used. The NYWSC studies how the interactions of humans affect the water cycle, including how much water is withdrawn from natural sources, where this water goes, how this water is used, what happens to the water after it is used, and how water moves from its source to its outlet. These studies are a first step in understanding how future water demands can be met while maintaining adequate water quality and balancing the needs of human and ecological water needs. Studies on water use and availability also explore the nature of and outlook for water stored in ice and the oceans, examine the effects of climate change on water systems and ecosystems, analyze the effects of major storms on habitats, human populations, and coastal regions, and track and predict flooding and areas that could potentially be inundated.