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E-M:/ USGS report: How Much Water is Lost in Great Lakes Basin?


How Much Water is Lost in the Great Lakes Basin?

WEBWIRE – Monday, May 26, 2008

Do you ever wonder how much of the water that we remove from the Great Lakes for use in everyday products such as food, ethanol, household chemicals or paper products, is not returned? Or what type of use is most likely to cause these losses?

Information about these and other types of "consumptive" water use for the Great Lakes basin can be found in a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report that will be used by water-resource managers and planners in the Great Lakes as they develop policies to encourage efficient and sustainable water use.

"We found that irrigation and livestock had the largest losses compared with total water withdrawn from the Great Lakes basin" said Kimberly Shaffer, hydrologist with the USGS and author of the report. "Of the total water withdrawn for irrigation, 70-100 percent was lost to the basin"

The authors examined seven consumptive water-use categories: domestic and public supply, industrial, electric power, irrigation, livestock, commercial, and mining. Consumptive water use is water that is evaporated, transpired, incorporated into products or crops, consumed by humans or livestock, or otherwise removed from the immediate environment. It is usually reported as a percentage of the amount of water withdrawn.



A fact sheet titled "Consumptive Water Use in the Great Lakes Basin" by Kimberly H. Shaffer, is available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3032/

The full report titled "Consumptive Water-Use Coefficients for the Great Lakes Basin and Climatically Similar Areas" by Kimberly H. Shaffer and Donna L. Runkle, is available at: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5197

The fact sheet and report are among a series of products by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Assessment of Water Availability and Use Program for the Great Lakes Basin, a program designed to gain a clearer understanding of water-use, land-use, and climatic trends in our Nation’s water resources. More information is available at: http://water.usgs.gov/wateravailability/greatlakes



~Rita Jack



Rita Jack

Clean Water Program Director

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

109 E. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, Michigan  48906

tel:  517-484-2372 x12




Know your watershed!

Make all Michigan's waters fishable and swimmable.