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Current IssueSeptember 02, 2015
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Ask The Expert: Per capita water needs
Question: Q: We have been trying to find out the water requirements per capita for the United States and the rest of the world. We have scanned your journal, but could not find it. We need that information for a publication. Could you give us an estimate?
Thank you. Melvin Prueitt
Solar Energy Limited
Los Alamos, N.M.

Answer: A: We're not sure about "water requirements," but if you're looking for use per capita and other freshwater data on a global scale, we recommend "The World's Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources." It's published by Island Press and edited by Peter Gleick, who is cofounder and president of the Pacific Institute (see www.pacinst.org) and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the International Water Academy in Oslo, Norway. The last volume was 2000-2001. The book is a wonderful collection of data from various resources that offers a broad view of social, economic and political ramifications of water quality and availability around the world. Additionally, you can check the World Health Organization's website for related information that might be more current: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/index.html . Also, the U.S. Geological Survey offers more specific data related to the United States: http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/

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