National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25134.
×
Page R12

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area Committee on Future Water Resource Needs for the Nation: Water Science and Research at the U.S. Geological Survey Water Science and Technology Board Division on Earth and Life Studies A Consensus Study Report of PREPUBLICATION COPY

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant Agreement No. G17AP00050. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products do not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: International Standard Book Number-10: Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25134 Additional copies of this publication are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25134. PREPUBLICATION COPY

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. PREPUBLICATION COPY

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and committee deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit nationalacademies.org/whatwedo. PREPUBLICATION COPY

COMMITTEE ON FUTURE WATER RESOURCE NEEDS FOR THE NATION: WATER SCIENCE AND RESEARCH AT THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (NAE), Chair, Vanderbilt University KENNETH R. BRADBURY, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey YU-PING CHIN, University of Delaware ELLEN GILINSKY, Ellen Gilinsky, LLC PETER H. GLEICK (NAS), Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security ROBERT E. MACE, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University ANNE W. NOLIN, Oregon State University ROGER K. PATTERSON, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California YING FAN REINFELDER, Rutgers University JENNIFER L. TANK, University of Notre Dame HOWARD S. WHEATER, University of Saskatchewan National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff DAVID M. ALLEN, Co-Study Director, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate DEBORAH GLICKSON, Co-Study Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources BRENDAN R. MCGOVERN, Research Assistant, Water Science and Technology Board CARLY BRODY, Senior Program Assistant, Water Science and Technology Board v PREPUBLICATION COPY

WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD CATHERINE L. KLING (NAS), Chair, Iowa State University DAVID A. DZOMBAK (NAE), Carnegie Mellon University WENDY D. GRAHAM, University of Florida ARTURO A. KELLER, University of California, Santa Barbara MARK W. LeCHAVALLIER, Dr. Water Consulting, LLC DINAH LOUDA, Veolia Institute MARGARET A. PALMER, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, University of Maryland STEPHEN POLASKY (NAS), University of Minnesota, St. Paul DAVID L. SEDLAK (NAE), University of California, Berkeley DAVID L. WEGNER, Jacobs Engineering P. KAY WHITLOCK, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. JAMES W. ZIGLAR, SR., Van Ness Feldman National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff ELIZABETH EIDE, Director LAURA J. EHLERS, Senior Program Officer STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Senior Program Officer M. JEANNE AQUILINO, Financial/Administrative Associate COURTNEY R. DEVANE, Administrative Coordinator BRENDAN R. MCGOVERN, Research Assistant CARLY BRODY, Senior Program Assistant vi PREPUBLICATION COPY

Preface The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long and distinguished record as a source of unbiased data, information, and scientific results that support wise use and management of water resources. The “customers” of the Water Mission Area (WMA) of USGS range across a spectrum of agencies and actors, from federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, to academic research scientists, to private companies both large and small, and even to individuals who want to plan a fishing or rafting outing. For much of their work related to water resources, these customers fundamentally rely on USGS. There is broad agreement that solving problems related to use of water resources will be of paramount importance in coming decades. In a 2017 policy statement, for example, the American Meteorological Society summarized the consensus view of scientists: “The provision of adequate fresh-water resources for people and ecosystems will be one of the most critical and potentially contentious issues facing society and governments at all levels during the 21st century.” 1 In the United States, the issues with which we are currently grappling—such as the widespread depletion of groundwater in the High Plains, the fact that the Colorado River rarely reaches the ocean any longer, and the persistent, harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie—are harbingers of the potential impacts that can occur in the future if steps are not taken to avoid negative consequences. The many water resources challenges of the nation have related science challenges because the data and results stemming from scientific work provide a basis for the difficult trade-off decisions that will be necessary. Given the seriousness of looming water challenges, the work of WMA and other USGS mission areas will become even more important over the next decades and beyond as changing water resources conditions are experienced. But it would be ill-advised for WMA to spread its work thinly across all possible questions about water resources. What are the strategic water science and research opportunities for WMA that would address the highest-priority national water challenges in the future? These opportunities will evolve substantially from what they have been in the past as “big data” accumulates and as rapid advances in technology for measurement and computation continue apace. WMA will have to make wise decisions about choosing key opportunities and be flexible and nimble in order to adapt to new challenges and apply new advances as they occur. The Committee on Future Water Resource Needs for the Nation: Water Science and Research at the U.S. Geological Survey was appointed in August 2017 by the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) and charged with identifying key water resources challenges and the corresponding strategic opportunities for USGS, particularly WMA, over the next 25 years. This report represents the consensus views of the committee that were developed over 9 months of study. Committee members reviewed published documents and other sources of information, including material gained through interactions with selected stakeholders who routinely depend on collaboration with WMA in their work and with USGS and academic scientists. 1 See https://www.ametsoc.org/index.cfm/ams/about-ams/ams-statements/statements-of-the-ams-in-force/water- resources-in-the-21st-century1; accessed September 17, 2018. vii PREPUBLICATION COPY

viii FUTURE WATER PRIORITIES FOR THE NATION I thank the members of the committee for their hard work in preparing the report, for their good-natured approach to reaching consensus on the many issues that we discussed, and for the collegiality that they exhibited throughout our work together. I also thank all the people who took time to provide input to the committee. This report, like all National Academies reports, was made possible by excellent staff work. I especially want to thank David Allen and Deb Glickson, the study directors for the project, for their major contributions—both editorial and substantive—to the work, for keeping me focused on the tasks that needed to be accomplished, and for shepherding the report through the publication process. I also thank Brendan McGovern and Carly Brody, WSTB staff, for their incredibly hard work throughout this process. I also thank the reviewers for their helpful suggestions, which strengthened the report tremendously. George M. Hornberger, Chair Committee on Future Water Resource Needs for the Nation: Water Science and Research at the U.S. Geological Survey PREPUBLICATION COPY

Acknowledgments Many individuals assisted the committee and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine staff in their task to create this report. The committee met four times over a 6-month period: twice in Washington, DC, once in San Diego, California, and once in Chicago, Illinois. Over the course of those meetings, the committee consulted with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) staff and stakeholders across the nation, including those from the federal, state, and nongovernmental sectors. During its open-session meetings and through questionnaires, the committee had the opportunity to interact and learn from numerous individuals about the importance of USGS research and data to their own programs. Individuals also provided written feedback to the committee. Their voluntary engagement with the committee is an indication of the importance of input to the USGS Water Mission Area. This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Emily Bernhardt, Duke University Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (NAE), University of California, Irvine George Hallberg, The Cadmus Group (retired) Chi Ho Sham, Eastern Research Group, Inc. Michael Shapiro, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (retired) Norman Sleep (NAS), Stanford University Jery Stedinger (NAE), Cornell University Daniel Van Abs, Rutgers University David Wunsch, Delaware Geological Survey Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Marylynn Yates, University of California, Riverside, and Dick Luthy (NAE), Stanford University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. ix PREPUBLICATION COPY

Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 7 The U.S Geological Survey and the Water Mission Area, 8 Committee Charge, 9 A Vision for the Future, 10 Committee Approach, 11 2 WATER SCIENCE AND RESOURCES CHALLENGES FOR THE NEXT 25 YEARS 13 Water Science and Resources Challenges, 14 Emerging Technologies, 18 Priority Research Questions, 20 3 PRIORITY QUESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 29 Technological Innovations, 29 New Approaches for Old Problems, 32 Priority Questions and Recommendations, 33 Additional Recommendations for the Water Mission Area, 39 Final Thoughts, 41 REFERENCES 43 APPENDIXES A U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area 57 B Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff 69 C People Who Provided Input to the Committee 75 D Prioritization Rubric 79 xi PREPUBLICATION COPY

Next: Summary »
Future Water Priorities for the Nation: Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $45.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Solving problems related to use of water resources will be of paramount importance in coming decades as increasing pressure from growing populations, climate change, extreme weather, and aging water-related infrastructure threaten water availability and quality.

The Water Mission Area (WMA) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a long-established reputation for collecting and delivering high-quality, unbiased scientific information related to the nation’s water resources. WMA observations help inform decisions ranging from rapid responses during emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, and forest fires, to the long-term management of water resources.

Produced at the request of USGS, this report identifies the nation’s highest-priority water science and resources challenges over the next 25 years. Future Water Priorities for the Nation summarizes WMA’s current water science and research portfolio, and recommends strategic opportunities for WMA to more effectively address the most pressing challenges.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!