New Center Research on Water Use Efficiency

Monday, July 1, 2024

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to improve water use efficiency (WUE) worldwide. This study from our Ph.D. student Yan Du emphasizes the importance of detailed local data over time, rather than just national trends, to better address water use issues. Researchers analyzed WUE in the US from 1980 to 2015, using data from 3243 counties and 50 states. They found that overall WUE improved significantly, particularly in the service sector, due to reduced water usage per person rather than economic growth. Some states saw a decline in agricultural WUE due to local factors. The study also noted widening gaps in WUE between wealthy and less wealthy states, highlighting the need for policies to support better water management and equitable development.

This work has been published in Environ. Sci. Technol.