Efforts to save water are making a difference

The Mississippi and Rum rivers, Coon Lake, Lake George, Rice Creek Chain of Lake, creeks, groundwater and wetlands are essential to life and our economic vitality. The quality of our natural waters is an asset that must be protected to ensure that our water supply is safe and plentiful in the future.

“We have had a tendency to take this abundance and cleanliness for granted. But this complacency could lead to our undoing. Minnesota’s population will grow—an estimated 22 percent larger by 2035—and that increased population will result in ever greater demands on our finite water supply and its quality…” (Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework, January 2011)

Some good news. A new study from the United States Geologic Survey (Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015, June 2018) indicates water use across the country dropped between 2010 and 2015, despite that the population rose four (4) percent. Average water use by individuals continues to fall since the early 2000s from 88 gallons in 2010 to 82 gallons in 2015. Which means water efficient household fixtures are helping to conserve local water supplies.

Thermoelectric (e.g. nuclear and coal power plants) and agricultural irrigation are the dominant water use categories nationally. Thermoelectric power generation water use fell from a historic level by 18% since 2010. Irrigation withdrawals were two percent (2%) higher than in 2010. The biggest consumer of irrigation water was California. However, the county breakdown reveals variations that are significant to plan and manage local water resources.

Public water supply makes up over 92% of water use in the Anoka County. There are no thermoelectric power plants and agricultural irrigation use is much less within developing metropolitan regions. The Report comes with an interactive map showing visualizations of the data it contains to provide the public with new ways to see the information without diving too deep into the numbers.

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