Energy and Climate
Water Availability, Cost, and Use

Water Availability, Cost, and Use

Availability, cost, and projected growth in the use of water were mapped for the 17-conterminous western states. Specifically, water availability was mapped according to five unique sources including unappropriated surface water, unappropriated groundwater, appropriated surface/groundwater, municipal wastewater, and brackish groundwater. Associated costs to acquire, convey and treat the water, as necessary, for each of the five sources were also estimated. To complete the picture, competing uses for the available water supply were projected over the next 20 years. The data can be accessed in two different ways:

Papers and reports detailing data sources and calculations can be found by clicking here.

These metrics were developed to support regional water planning and policy analysis by providing a consistent and comparable measure of the relative difficulty and expense to develop a water resource in a given basin. There are two important limitations concerning how these data should be interpreted. First, these basin scale estimates of water availability and cost are of insufficient detail to support siting decisions at the local scale (specific water development project at a specific location). Second, these data cannot be interpreted as an absolute measure of whether sufficient water is available to meet projected growth in water use. Although developed with the help of state water managers, these availability and cost values in no way guarantee the availability or cost of water at any particular point within a watershed. These values simply provide a relative measure of where water is more likely available and at what cost relative to other sources.

The data contained herein is provided without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.  Any use of this data is at your own risk.  Neither Sandia nor its partners shall be held liable for damages of any kind arising out of the use of any data published herein, including but not limited to incidental, consequential, or special damages. Users are prohibited from any commercial, non-free resale, or redistribution without explicit written permission from Sandia or the data-developing institutions. Any use of data in the creation of any reports, publications, new data sets, derived products, or services requires attribution to the data source.

Water Availability, Cost, and Use Data Download

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