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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a report to Congress on the progress of the National Water Census, which is being developed at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to help the nation address its critical water needs.
“The Water Census will quantify water supply and demand consistently across the entire country, fill in gaps in existing data, and make that information available to anyone who needs it—and that represents a huge step forward on the path toward water sustainability,” said Anne Castle, Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.
As competition for water grows—for irrigation of crops, for use by cities and communities, for energy production, and for the environment—the need for the National Water Census and related information and tools to aid water resource managers also grows. The Water Census will assist water and resource managers in understanding and quantifying water supply and demand, and will support more sustainable management of water resources.
“This update to the National Water Census—the first since 1978—will give the nation critical new information about the availability and use of America’s freshwater resources,” said Salazar. “Development of the new state-of-the-art National Water Census forms a vital component of the Department of the Interior’s overall strategy to help ensure sustainable water resources for the United States. Similar to the need for the U.S. population census to make informed societal decisions, resource managers need the water census to support wise policy and decision-making on water matters.”