Summary of the water resources of Puerto Rico

Open-File Report 78-971



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Puerto Rico has considerable variability in geology, hydrology, and topography. Rainfall provides an average of about 11,600 million gallons of water per day. The mountainous interior receives the most rainfall and the southwest coast the least. Surface water accounts for about 90 percent of public supplies but only about 20 percent of industry; agriculture uses about equal amounts of ground water and surface water. Of the average daily 11,600 million gallons of precipitation, about 7,240 Mgal/d is lost by evapotranspiration; about 3,620 Mgal/d by streamflow to the sea; and about 188 Mgal/d by ground-water flow to the sea. Municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses account for about 420 Mgal/d in losses. The south coast is the most stressed area in terms of water deficiency. Changes in water use and the importation of water are alternatives for increasing supplies to meet future demands. Generally the chemical composition of nearly all surface waters in Puerto Rico is about the same (Bogart, 1964, p. 86). The waters are predominantly of the calcium bicarbonate type. However, characteristic differences do occur--especially in dissolved solids and in concentration of specific ions. (Woodard-USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Summary of the water resources of Puerto Rico
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey,
iii, 24 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.