The National Water-Use Science Project

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The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Use Science Project (formerly the National Water-Use Information Program) is responsible for compiling and disseminating the nation's water-use data. Established by USGS in 1978, the USGS National Water-Use Science Project built on the legacy of the Estimated Use of Water in the United States report series, begun in 1950 and produced every 5 years.

Collage of water use

The National Water-Use Science Project is a part of the National Water Census (NWC), which supports research focused on improving methods of collection and estimation of water-use data. Water use is a key component of the water-budget approach of the NWC.

Goals of the National Water Use Science Project:

  • Analyze the source, use, and disposition of water resources at local, State, and national levels
  • Reply to water-use information requests from the public
  • Document trends in water use in the United States
  • Cooperate with State and local agencies on projects of special interest
  • Develop water-use data bases
  • Publish State and national water-use data reports

A number of guidelines and methods reports are available for the USGS water-use compilations and related work, both for specific categories of water use and for more recent compilations as a whole.