Americans have come to expect clean, abundant fresh water for domestic consumption, irrigation, industrial needs, infrastructure and transportation systems, healthy ecosystem functions, and recreational opportunities and tourism on our rivers, streams, and lakes. As the proportion of the US population living in urban areas continues to grow, domestic and industrial demand for water will increase and compete with other uses of water. Irrigation for agriculture, for example, is one of the largest users of fresh water, both surface water and groundwater, in the United States. The availability of fresh water in the specific qualities and quantities needed by different, competing users is becoming increasingly problematic.
Chapter co-authored by Bartuska and Wichman, "Water Challenges in Smart Cities," begins on page 34.