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dc.contributor.authorMarston, Landon T.en
dc.contributor.authorLamsal, Gambhiren
dc.contributor.authorAncona, Zachary H.en
dc.contributor.authorCaldwell, Peteren
dc.contributor.authorRichter, Brian D.en
dc.contributor.authorRuddell, Benjamin L.en
dc.contributor.authorRushforth, Richard R.en
dc.contributor.authorDavis, Kyle Frankelen
dc.description.abstractNearly one-sixth of U.S. river basins are unable to consistently meet societal water demands while also providing sufficient water for the environment. Water scarcity is expected to intensify and spread as populations increase, new water demands emerge, and climate changes. Improving water productivity by meeting realistic benchmarks for all water users could allow U.S. communities to expand economic activity and improve environmental flows. Here we utilize a spatially detailed database of water productivity to set realistic benchmarks for over 400 industries and products. We assess unrealized water savings achievable by each industry in each river basin within the conterminous U.S. by bringing all water users up to industry- and region-specific water productivity benchmarks. Some of the most water stressed areas throughout the U.S. West and South have the greatest potential for water savings, with around half of these water savings obtained by improving water productivity in the production of corn, cotton, and alfalfa. By incorporating benchmark-meeting water savings within a national hydrological model (WaSSI), we demonstrate that depletion of river flows across Western U.S. regions can be reduced on average by 6.2-23.2%, without reducing economic production. Lastly, we employ an environmentally extended input-output model to identify the U.S. industries and locations that can make the biggest impact by working with their suppliers to reduce water use 'upstream' in their supply chain. The agriculture and manufacturing sectors have the largest indirect water footprint due to their reliance on water-intensive inputs but these sectors also show the greatest capacity to reduce water consumption throughout their supply chains.en
dc.description.sponsorshipNational Science FoundationNational Science Foundation (NSF) [ACI-1639529]; U.S. Geological SurveyUnited States Geological Survey [G20AP00002]en
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalen
dc.subjectwater productivityen
dc.subjectwater footprinten
dc.subjectwater scarcityen
dc.subjectwater use benchmarksen
dc.titleReducing water scarcity by improving water productivity in the United Statesen
dc.typeArticle - Refereeden
dc.contributor.departmentCivil and Environmental Engineeringen
dc.description.notesL T M and B L R acknowledge support by the National Science Foundation Grant No. ACI-1639529 (INFEWS/T1: Mesoscale Data Fusion to Map and Model the U.S. Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) system) and U.S. Geological Survey under Grant/Cooperative Agreement No. G20AP00002. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the U.S. Geological Survey. The findings and conclusions in this publication are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent any official U.S. Department of Agriculture or U.S. Government determination or policy. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.en
dc.title.serialEnvironmental Research Lettersen

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International