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The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin provides water for many uses and for wildlife habitat; thus many groups have developed strategies to manage the basin 's water resource. The International Joint Commission (IJC) is reviewing and comparing available consumptive-use data to assess the magnitude and effect of consumptive uses under present projected economic and hydraulic conditions on lake levels. As a part of this effort, the U.S. Geological Survey compared its own estimates of consumptive use in the United States with those generated by (1) the International Great Lakes Diversions and (2) the IJC. The U.S. Geological Survey also developed two methods of calculating consumptive-use projections for 1980 through 2000; one method yields an estimate of 6,490 cu ft/s for the year 2000; the other yields an estimate of 8,330 cu ft/s. These two projections could be considered the upper and lower limits for the year 2000. The reasons for the varying estimates are differences in (1) methods by which base year values were developed, and (2) the methods or models that were used to project consumptive-use values for the future. Acquisition of consumptive-use data from water users or governmental agencies or ministries would be desirable to minimize reliance on estimates. (USGS)


USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report: 88-4146