Water Conservation Definitions From a Hydrologic Viewpoint

by Richard G. Allen, (M.ASCE),
Charles Burt, (M.ASCE),
A. J. Clemmens, (M.ASCE),
L. S. Willardson, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


The definition of water management principles needed to satisfy societys water use objectives requires the use of terms and definitions that clearly describe the effects of various water uses, both consumptive and non-consumptive, within a hydrologic system. This is especially true when designing, proposing or evaluating water conservation programs for irrigation projects. In irrigation projects where return flows conveniently reenter the fresh water resource and are of reusable quality, water is only saved over the long run through water conservation when evaporation or evapotranspiration (ET) are reduced. Some water use terms such as the evaporated fraction, reusable fraction, non-reusable fraction and depleted fraction are discussed that can help the user and the public develop an improved, rational and visual understanding of the hydrologic background and true impacts of water use and conservation programs.

Subject Headings: Water conservation | Water management | Water use | Water resources | Water quality | Hydrology | Terminology and definition

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