Water use is going down

There’s a rock I keep pushing up a hill. But powerful forces are at work, and the rock keeps slipping my grasp and rolling back down. So I chase it down, and start anew.

I’ve given more than 30 public talks around the western United States since my book came out nearly two years ago, and every time I talk I include a bunch of graphs and data making the same point – water use is going down. Across nearly every geography, water source (surface and ground) or class of users. Water use is going down. And nearly every time, I get a combination of skeptical questions and eager followup from members of the audience on this point, whether the audience is water managers, or academics, or members of a more general public.


Here is no less a luminary than the official Twitter feed of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, arguably the most important federal water agency in the western United States:

BRB, I’m headed back down to catch the rock, in the meantime, via Peter Gleick and Brad Plumer, here’s a graph:

One Comment

  1. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, “arguably the most important federal water agency in the western United States” has always seen it’s job as “reclaiming” the arid West. If there’s any aridity left out there it’ll go on trying to reclaim it. And under the Trump administration it’s possible that the Bureau is now supercharged with providing as much water as farmers and water agencies think that they might ever need (’20 million more people in California coming soon’, and all that arid land south of Bakersfield that still need to be cultivated; profits going unearned. “We’re nervous about all that new groundwater regulation by big government, and those pesky fish up north taking our water!” Can’t have too much water in the bank.)

Comments are closed.