Human Factors Used to Estimate and Forecast Water Supply and Demand in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Scientific Investigations Report 2023-5015
By: , and 



Water availability is a result of complex interactions between regional water supply and demand and underlying environmental, institutional, and economic determinants. For this study, water availability is defined as “access to a specific quantity and quality of water at a point in time and space, for a specific use, recognizing the social and economic value of water across uses and institutions that facilitate or hinder its equitable and efficient provisioning.” This report identifies the human factors that influence water supply and demand and summarizes (1) the extensive sets of data available to estimate these factors in the agricultural, municipal, and industrial water-use sectors and (2) factors of recreation and ecosystem services that influence water availability in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Lastly, future research needs are identified that can help prioritize collection and refinement of human factors of water use to improve water availability estimation and forecasting.

Suggested Citation

Herman-Mercer, N., Bair, L., Hines, M., Restrepo-Osorio, D., Romero, V., and Lyde, A., 2023, Human factors used to estimate and forecast water supply and demand in the Upper Colorado River Basin: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2023–5015, 46 p.,

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Study Area
  • Project Objectives and Scope
  • Methods
  • Results of Determinants Used to Estimate Water Demand
  • Discussion: Limitations and Challenges
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Glossary
  • Appendix 1. Keywords Used in Literature Searches
  • Appendix 2. Geospatial Boundaries for Bureau of Reclamation Projects
  • Appendix 3. Cropland Data Layer
  • Appendix 4. Total Water Withdrawals in 2015
  • Appendix 5. Publicly Available Water Service Provider/Service Area Map Information
  • Appendix 6. Methods for Developing Spatial Data
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Human factors used to estimate and forecast water supply and demand in the Upper Colorado River Basin
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2023-5015
DOI 10.3133/sir20235015
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center, WMA - Integrated Information Dissemination Division, Oklahoma-Texas Water Science Center
Description Report: v, 46 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details