Estimated Use of Water in the Cumberland River Watershed in 2010 and Projections of Public-Supply Water Use to 2040

Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5130
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District
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Abstract

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Nashville District, is conducting ongoing water-supply analyses of USACE reservoirs in the Cumberland River watershed to identify areas where potential water-resources issues may arise in the future. To assist the USACE in their efforts, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the USACE, collected and analyzed water-use data to estimate public-supply, self-supplied industrial, irrigation, and thermoelectric water use for 2010 and to project water demand to 2040 for the Cumberland River watershed area.

Estimates of water use for public supply were projected in 10-year increments through 2040 and were based on 2010 public water-supply data and population projections for 2020 to 2040. Additionally, estimates of consumptive use, wastewater releases, and thermoelectric power and industrial return flows were calculated. All estimates are presented for the entire watershed and for the 10 reservoir catchment areas (RCAs) within the watershed.

Estimated water withdrawals in the Cumberland River watershed during 2010 averaged 3,456.23 million gallons per day (Mgal/d) of freshwater for offstream use. Return flow was estimated to be 3,370.08 Mgal/d, or 98 percent of the water withdrawn during 2010. Total consumptive use accounts for the remaining 2 percent, or 86.2 Mgal/d. Estimates of water withdrawals by source indicate that withdrawals from surface water during 2010 accounted for more than 99 percent of the total withdrawals, or 3,437.90 Mgal/d. Total groundwater withdrawals during 2010 were 18.33 Mgal/d, or less than 1 percent of the total withdrawals.

During 2010, withdrawals by category were estimated as follows: thermoelectric power, 3,051.12 Mgal/d; public supply, 360.00 Mgal/d; industrial, 31.5 Mgal/d; and irrigation, 13.6 Mgal/d. Return flows were estimated as thermoelectric power, 3,051.06 Mgal/d, and industrial and public supply, 319.02 Mgal/d. Consumptive use was estimated as thermoelectric power, 0.06 Mgal/d; industrial and public supply, 72.5 Mgal/d; and irrigation, 13.6 Mgal/d.

By 2040, the public supply of raw and (or) finished water to meet demand for the 10 RCAs is projected to increase 48 percent to 532.51 Mgal/d. This projected increase includes an increase from 51.5 to 72.5 Mgal/d, or 41 percent, in the Barkley RCA. The combined total water demand for the Cheatham, J. Percy Priest, and Old Hickory RCAs is projected to increase from 224.08 to 359.58 Mgal/d, or 61 percent. The combined total water demand for the Center Hill, Cordell Hull, and Dale Hollow RCAs is projected to increase from 31.7 to 43.0 Mgal/d, or 36 percent. The combined total water demand for the Martins Fork, Laurel, and Wolf Creek RCAs is projected to increase from 52.8 to 57.4 Mgal/d, or 9 percent. The only RCA in the watershed with a projected decrease in water demand is Martins Fork.

Suggested Citation

Robinson, J.A., 2019, Estimated use of water in the Cumberland River watershed in 2010 and projections of public-supply water use to 2040: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5130, 62 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185130.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Data Compilation and Analysis
  • Projections of Water Use
  • Estimated Use of Water in the Cumberland River Watershed in 2010
  • Public-Supply Water Projections for All Reservoir Catchment Areas to 2040
  • Summary
  • References
  • Glossary

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Estimated use of water in the Cumberland River watershed in 2010 and projections of public-supply water use to 2040
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2018-5130
DOI 10.3133/sir20185130
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 62 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia
Other Geospatial Cumberland River Watershed
Online Only (Y/N) Y