Science Inventory

Planning for community resilience to future United States domestic water demand


Pickard, B., M. Nash, J. Baynes, AND M. Mehaffey. Planning for community resilience to future United States domestic water demand. LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 158:75-86, (2017).


We describe a new approach for projecting water demand into the year 2090 using spatial shifts of populations from rural to urbanizing areas. Data from the research will be incorporated as an map layer in the EnviroAtlas climate and future change scenario tool.


Costs of repairing and expanding aging infrastructure and competing demands for water from other sectors such as industry and agriculture are stretching water managers’ abilities to meet essential domestic drinking water needs for future generations. Using Bayesian statistical modeling on past and present water use, we project domestic water demand in the context of four climate scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as part of the their Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES). We compare 2010 demand to projections of domestic water demand for the years 2030, 2060 and 2090 for the four SRES scenarios. Results indicate that the number of counties exceeding fifty percent or greater demand over 2010 levels increases through 2090 for two of the scenarios and plateaus around 2050 for the other two. Counties experiencing the largest increases in water demand are concentrated in the states of California, Texas, and isolated portions of the Mid-West, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic. Closer examination of the spatial distribution of high demand counties reveals that they are typically found near or adjacent to metropolitan centers, potentially placing greater stress on already taxed systems. Identifying these counties allows for targeted adaptive management and policies, economic incentives, and legislation to be focused towards locations that are potentially the most vulnerable.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 02/01/2017
Record Last Revised: 04/13/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 335210