Monthly Archives: September 2018

WATER SUPPLIES – Tracked Worldwide: Landsat’s Thermal Band Mapping – The World Bank Water Management (Rothschild) and many others

Full paper in link above.

Precious Resources: Water and Landsat’s Thermal Band
“Chronic water supply problems in many areas of the West are among the
greatest challenges we face in the coming decades.” Mark Limbaugh, the U.S.
Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, told
U.S. Senators in 2006.1
He was largely echoing the findings of the DOI Water 2025 report. The report
explains that if future conflict over water in the West is to be avoided, water
efficiency needs to improve.2
Until then, conflict and environmental degradation
will be the costs of the increasing demands––dominated by agricultural irrigation
and swelling city populations––on limited water supplies.
Irrigation: a numerical explanation
Irrigation accounts for 80% of fresh water use in the U.S3
and worldwide, the
World Bank estimates 70% of fresh water use is for agriculture.4
The U.S. irrigates
over 50 million acres of agricultural land and 32 million acres of recreational
landscapes (lawns, golf courses, etc.).5
The total volume consumed by agriculture
and landscape irrigation is 50 trillion gallons per year;6
western states are
responsible for 86% of that consumption.7
A growing problem
The arid U.S. West is experiencing explosive population growth. The 2000
Census reported that one third of all Americans live in the West, and that the West
accounted for half of the overall U.S. population growth over that decade.8
Seven of the ten fastest growing U.S. cities are found in the West and
Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, and Tucson will not be able to supply enough
water for their burgeoning growth with present sources.9
Recent drought brought
about bitter legal battles for the precious water resources of the Rio Grande River
highlighting that the river’s waters are stretched thin between the city of
Albuquerque, farmers, endangered species, and local Native Americans