Water Water Everywhere - Scientific Computing

Abstract

Fresh water is the limiting constraint for development in much of the world. Our aim was to model the water situation in the US and be able to come up with an effective, feasible, and cost-efficient water strategy that could be implemented in the real world. We approached this situation by first understanding the water situation in the US through applying some data analysis tools to the most recent water data published by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Use Website1. Through analyzing these data in details and drawing some maps that show fresh water distribution across the country, we arrived at a strong foundation on which we based our conclusions. In particular, we were able to draw a map of US showing different clusters of states that tend to use water in the same way. We found that all 50 states can be grouped into 6 different clusters with each cluster having certain specific water strategies. As a matter of fact, the state of California stands apart in its own cluster because of how much water it uses; it accounts for about 11 percent of all total water withdrawals in the US and 10 percent of all fresh water, predominantly for irrigation. This result lead us to conclude that the use of water-saving sprinkler systems such as drip systems in irrigation in California would help save millions of gallons of water.

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