Scientific challenges of western U.S. water management


  • Mohi Kumar


In the western United States, which is characterized by low precipitation, aridity, drought, and rapid population growth, the availability of water presents serious concerns, according to an 8 February report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The report, Water Availability for the Western United States—Key Scientific Challenges, outlines key concerns, including the determination of sustainable ground water levels, methods for desalination and other water reuse programs, sustainable ecosystem management, and the protection of endangered species. In addition, “the potential for departures from average climatic conditions threatens to disrupt society and local to regional economies,” the report stated.