The classic argument that population
increase will lead to catastrophe goes something like this — more people
require more resources and as the population increases it will inevitably
strain the available resource base. Somebody forgot to tell that to the
United States Geological Survey which reported recently that from 1980
to 1995 both total and per capita water use in the United States declined
10 percent even though the U.S. population increased steadily during the
In 1980 almost 450 billion gallons
of water per day (bgd) were used for all purposes in the United States.
By 1995 that figure had fallen to 402 bgd. For freshwater, irrigation
was the number one use at 134 bgd. Thermoelectric generation was the larger
single use of water, however, when fresh water and saline water usage
are combined, with l90 bgd used for that purpose.
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