Program provides scientific, financial and collaborative tools that will enable Interior to meet its water savings goal of 730,000 acre-feet per year by 2013
WASHINGTON - The Department of the Interior's WaterSMART program is saving water, finding better ways to stretch existing supplies and helping partners plan to meet future water demands, according to a three-year progress report on the program released today. The program was launched by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in 2010.
Combining new initiatives with existing programs as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable management of water supplies in the United States, WaterSMART projects, along with other conservation activities, are expected to save an estimated 587,839 acre-feet of water a year – enough water for more than 2.3 million people. These water conservation results put Interior well on the way toward achieving its high priority goal of saving 730,000 acre-feet per year by the end of 2013.
"WaterSMART allows us to manage water in a more sustainable manner to achieve balance between the water we have and the water we need for humans and ecosystems," said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle. "Using the best available science, WaterSMART provides relief for immediate water shortages while planning for long-term needs through collaborative processes."
The water savings and other accomplishments are detailed in the report, WaterSMART: A Three-Year Progress Report. "SMART" stands for "Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow."
In addition to saving water, the WaterSMART Program has conserved 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually – enough power for 3,400 households.
"Water and energy are linked," Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor said. "Water is necessary to generate power, while energy is required to store, move and treat water. Water saved is energy earned, and energy saved is water earned."
"The WaterSMART initiative has given a big jumpstart to our work on a National Water Census," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "This is the first survey in more than 30 years to determine the quantity, quality, and use of the nation's water supply. Our hope is that this information will enable water resource managers and other stakeholders to optimize how water is used for future human, economic, energy production and environmental purposes."
Other accomplishments identified in the WaterSMART three-year progress report include:
WaterSMART: A Three-Year Progress Report is available online at www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART.