Problems in estimating self-supplied industrial water use by indirect methods, the California example

Water-Resources Investigations Report 83-4276




Consumptive fresh-water use by industry in California is estimated at about 230 million gallons per day, or about one-half of one percent of agricultural withdrawals in the State , and only about 1 percent of agricultural consumptive use. Therefore, a significant State-wide realignment of the total water resources could not be made by industrial conservation measures. Nevertheless, considerable latitude for water conservation exists in industry -- fresh water consumed by self-supplied industry amounts to about 40 percent of its withdrawals in California, and only about 10 to 15 percent nationally (not including power-plant use). Furthermore, where firms withdraw and consume less water there is more for others nearby to use. The main question in attempting to estimate self-supplied industrial water use in California by indirect methods was whether accurate estimates of industrial water use could be made from data on surrogates such as production and employment. The answer is apparently not. A fundamental problem was that different data bases produced variable coefficients of water use for similar industries. Much of the potential for error appeared to lie in the water data bases rather than the production or employment data. The apparent reasons are that water-use data are based on responses to questionnaires, which are prone to errors in reporting, and because the data may be aggregated inappropriately for this kind of correlation. Industries within an apparently similar category commonly use different amounts of water, both because of differences in the product and because of differences in production processes even where the end-product is similar. (USGS)

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Problems in estimating self-supplied industrial water use by indirect methods, the California example
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
vi, 20 p. :ill. ;28 cm.