UF Survey: US water supply not as threatened as believed
GAINESVILLE – Although reports of drought conditions, water wars and restrictions have often painted a bleak picture of the nation's water availability, a new University of Florida survey finds that conditions aren't quite so bad as believed.
Jim Jawitz, a UF soil and water science professor, and Julie Padowski, who earned her doctoral degree from UF and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, knew that previous assessments of urban water supplies typically used what is known as a "runoff-based approach," which takes into account factors such as river flows and rainfall amounts.
Jawitz and Padowski knew that those assessments did not consider the infrastructure used to maintain urban water supplies, such as water stored in aquifers, lakes, reservoirs or water that's pumped in to an area and stored. So for 225 U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of more than 100,000, that's what they did, and their findings have been published online by the journal Water Resources Research.