Water Availability and Use Science Program

Performance Measures

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), and the subsequent GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, require that federal agencies establish performance measures to track and assess progress toward Departmental performance goals. These performance goals and measures are required to be published in a Departmental Strategic Plan and tracked annually to increase agency accountability to the public. The Water Availability and Use Science Program (WAUSP) currently tracks three performance measures in the 2018-2022 Department of the Interior (DOI) Strategic Plan under the goal to “utilize science in land, water, and species management supporting decisions and activities”.

 

Performance Measure #1:  Percent completion of the USGS National Water Census baseline

In support of the SECURE Water Act and its direction to provide a more accurate assessment of the status of the water resources of the Nation, the USGS seeks to provide a nationally-consistent base layer of data that accounts for water availability and use through the National Water Census. This nationally-consistent data is critical as it becomes increasingly difficult for resource managers to understand and balance the availability of water resources that cross local and state jurisdictional boundaries. In achieving a nationally consistent layer of data, USGS water budgets provide an understandable and standard method for communicating that data. Water budgets account for the inputs, outputs, and changes in the amount of water for a particular area by breaking the water cycle into components. This measure tracks progress as the USGS develops the capability to provide baseline daily estimates for 9 water budget components across the Nation’s watersheds. With the initiation of this effort in 2018, please find a snapshot of the performance measure history and the 2022 goal aligned with the 2018-2022 DOI Strategic Plan.

STRATEGIC PLAN PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2022 Goal
Percent completion of the USGS National Water Census baseline 0% 0% 22% 100%

*The 2022 Goal assumed level funding from FY 2017 through FY 2022.

 

Performance Measure #2:  Percent completion of U.S. aquifer groundwater availability baseline studies

Groundwater is among the Nation’s most important natural resources, providing half of the our drinking water and being essential to economic development, as well as to the health of rivers, wetlands, and estuaries throughout the country. Large-scale development of ground-water resources with accompanying declines in ground-water levels and other effects of pumping has led to concerns about the future availability of groundwater to meet domestic, agricultural, industrial, and environmental needs. The WAUSP is working to complete groundwater availability assessments for the Nation’s 40 principal aquifers. These assessments evaluate a region’s groundwater resource and its impact on current and future water availability. This is critical information that supports regional water resource management decisions and planning activities. This performance measure tracks progress as the USGS completes these assessments.

STRATEGIC PLAN PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2015 Actual 2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2022 Goal
Percent completion of U.S. aquifer groundwater availability baseline studies 25% 28% 30% 35% 43%
Number of Groundwater Studies Completed 10 11 12 14 17
Total Number of Groundwater Studies Planned 40 40 40 40 40

*The 2022 Goal assumed level funding from FY 2017 through FY 2022.

 

Performance Measure #3: Percent of water withdrawals from Public Supply, Thermoelectric, and Irrigation reported to USGS from our partners of a defined quality level

Public supply, Thermoelectric, and Irrigation account for approximately 90% of human water use and are therefore critical inputs to understanding water availability and use nationally. To ensure these water use categories are consistently collected and can be integrated into a national dataset, the USGS has established a grant program to assist State water resource agencies in developing and improving their water use and availability datasets. This program was authorized by the SECURE Water Act and is called the Water Use Data and Research (WUDR) program.  This performance measure tracks progress as the USGS improves national water use estimates through the WUDR program by helping all U.S. states and territories to collect data at a higher standard. Below, please find a snapshot of the performance measure history and the 2022 goal aligned with the 2018-2022 DOI Strategic Plan.

SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2015 Actual 2016 Actual 2017 Actual 2018 Actual 2022 Goal
Percent of water withdrawals from Public Supply, Thermoelectric, and Irrigation reported to USGS from our partners of a defined quality level 0% 9% 18% 20% 25%
Number of Water Budget Components Reporting - 15 30 33 42
Total Number of Water Budget Components Reporting 168 168 168 168 168

*The 2022 Goal assumed level funding from FY 2017 through FY 2022.

 

Progress for these measures, as well as budget-adjusted targets, are published annually alongside the President’s Budget Request in DOI’s Annual Performance Plan and Report (APP&R).  To see each of the published Annual Performance Plans and Reports, please reference DOI’s Budget and Performance website.