I’m not sure what Nebraska attorney David Cookson was up to in this recent talk in Kearney. He seems to be trying to scare the crap out of Nebraskans about water wars risk, of Californians and rich Wall Street money hounds coming after his state’s water. Whatever, this statement, at the heart of his argument, is flat wrong:
“The demand for water never goes down. Ever,” he said.
Here’s the water use trend data, from the U.S. Geologic Survey:
There’s a frustrating linguistic confusion that I need to sort out between “use” and “demand”, which have both technical and plain English meanings that don’t always line up and hide conceptual difficulties. But by whatever word you choose, water use/demand across every sector of the U.S. economy – irrigation, municipal, power plant cooling – has gone down.