Interbasin water transfers in the United States and Canada

Interbasin water transfers in the United States and Canada

Interbasin water transfers in the United States and Canada

Scientific Data   volume 10 , Article number: 27 (2023) Cite this article

Abstract

Interbasin water transfers (IBTs) can have a significant impact on the environment, water availability, and economies within the basins importing and exporting water, as well as basins downstream of these water transfers. The lack of comprehensive data identifying and describing IBTs inhibits understanding of the role IBTs play in supplying water for society, as well as their collective hydrologic impact. We develop three connected datasets inventorying IBTs in the United States and Canada, including their features, geospatial details, and water transfer volumes. We surveyed the academic and gray literature, as well as local, state, and federal water agencies, to collect, process, and verify IBTs in Canada and the United States. Our comprehensive IBT datasets represent all known transfers of untreated water that cross subregion (US) or subdrainage area (CA) boundaries, characterizing a total of 641 IBT projects. The infrastructure-level data made available by these data products can be used to close water budgets, connect water supplies to water use, and better represent human impacts within hydrologic and ecosystem models.

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