Take this example from the Hamilton Project:
- Irrigation doesn't mean farming when you can grow crops with rain. You know that, but does this map help you understand where our food grows?
- Withdrawals have nothing to do with value. It's quite possible for heavy withdrawals for valuable -- or marginal -- use.
- How much can be taken out without threatening tomorrow's supplies? I don't see that.
Fleck notes that (a) thermoelectric withdrawals are usually returned, (b) irrigation withdrawals do not reflect return flows, and (c) the recent dip reflects a drop in the economy. I'll add these notes:
- How can we know irrigation withdrawals when many surface diversions and groundwater withdrawals are unmetered?
- How do these uses occur locally, where excess demand has a local impact? National totals are almost meaningless, especially if one ignores seasonal variations in water supply.
- Residential water services require water, but they also require careful management and robust distribution systems. Are lower withdrawals a sign of better service?
H/Ts to RM and MV