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Data release for Integrating physical and economic data into experimental water accounts for the United States: lessons and opportunities

Metadata Updated: October 29, 2023

Water provides society with economic benefits that increasingly involve tradeoffs, making accounting for water quality, quantity, and their corresponding economic productivity more relevant in our interconnected world. In the past, physical and economic data about water have been fragmented, but integration is becoming more widely adopted internationally through application of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water (SEEA-Water), which enables the tracking of linkages between water and the economy over time and across scales. In this paper, we present the first national and subnational SEEA-Water accounts for the United States. We compile accounts for: (1) physical supply and use of water, (2) water productivity, (3) water quality, and (4) water emissions. These cover state and national levels for roughly the years 2000 to 2015. The results illustrate broad aggregate trends as well as subnational or industry-level phenomena. Specifically, the accounts show that total U.S. water use declined by 22% from 2000 to 2015, continuing a national trend seen since 1980. Total water use fell in 44 states, though groundwater use increased in 21 states. Nationally, a larger percent of water use comes from groundwater than at any time since 1950. Reductions in water use, combined with economic growth, lead to increases in water productivity for the entire national economy (65%), mining (99%), and agriculture (68%), though substantial variation occurred among states. Surface-water quality trends for the years 2002 to 2012 were most evident at regional levels, and differ by water-quality constituent and region. Chloride, nitrate, and total dissolved solids levels in groundwater had more consistent and widespread water-quality declines nationally. This work provides a baseline of recent historical water resource trends and their value in the U.S., as well as roadmap for the completion of future accounts for water, a critical ecosystem service. Our work also aids in the interpretation of ecosystem accounts in the context of long-term trends in U.S. water resources.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:5d2e1344e4b038fabe22db8e
Data Last Modified 20200929
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 7a623c1f-6a6c-429a-a1a8-cab0dcc5b8ac
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -178.21176,18.921782,-66.969273,71.406236
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 9537abcbeb27e9a3d793a5b4ec4b494e052fd5b04c92cd6352d0345d910c9e3b
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -178.21176, 18.921782, -178.21176, 71.406236, -66.969273, 71.406236, -66.969273, 18.921782, -178.21176, 18.921782}

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