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Water availability ranking for 225 urban areas in the United States

For method details, see

Padowski, J. C., and J. W. Jawitz, 2012. Water availability and vulnerability of 225 large cities in the United States, Water Resources Research, 48, W12529, doi:10.1029/2012WR012335.

Urban areas of population greater than 100,000 are ranked by fresh water availability based on liters per person per day. Absolute water availabilities have been normalized by scaling to the maximum value in the set. Vulnerability accounts for both mean water availability and variability about the mean (for example, drought frequency).

This method incorporates not only renewable water flows, but also the extracted, imported, and stored water that urban systems access through constructed infrastructure. These constructed sources represent important components of urban water supply, yet are typically excluded from water scarcity assessments. In this analysis, water availability is measured as the sum of the mean annual volume of water available to cities from both naturally-occurring and constructed sources. Natural availability is also constrained here by environmental limits on withdrawals. Urban water vulnerability is expressed as the susceptibility of those urban supplies under low-flow (drought-like) conditions.

High-ranking cities tend to be adjacent to very large lakes, such as the Great Lakes, and large rivers, such as the Mississippi or Columbia. For example, the highest-availability city (Duluth, MN) is the only US city on Lake Superior, the third-largest freshwater body in the world (by volume). The other Great Lakes have smaller volumes and are shared by more (and larger) cities. Low-ranking cities are often found in arid regions (for example Los Angeles and Las Vegas), have low storage per capita (for example Miami and Atlanta) or share sources with multiple other cities (for example Chicago and Tallahassee). This national, cross-cutting assessment required several assumptions for cases where limited data regarding source characterization or allocation exist (for example cities sharing the Great Lakes or large aquifers). Therefore, the current vulnerability assessments for an individual city should be considered in the context of the data available for each city. Population data in the table below are from the 2000 US Census.

Rank

Urban Area

Normalized availability

Vulnerability

Population

1

Duluth, MN--WI

100.0

Low

118,265

2

Evansville, IN--KY

71.9

Low

211,989

3

Baton Rouge, LA

63.5

Low

479,019

4

Kennewick--Richland, WA

45.3

Low

153,851

5

Huntington, WV--KY--OH

44.9

Low

177,550

6

Fort Smith, AR--OK

34.2

Low

106,470

7

Memphis, TN--MS--AR

33.5

Low

972,091

8

New Orleans, LA

30.1

Low

1,009,283

9

Clarksville, TN--KY

21.5

Low

121,775

10

Aberdeen--Havre de Grace--Bel Air, MD

21.1

Low

174,598

11

York, PA

18.1

Low

192,903

12

Fairfield, CA

15.2

Low

112,446

13

Sioux City, IA--NE--SD

14.5

Low

106,119

14

Saginaw, MI

13.5

Low

140,985

15

Louisville, KY--IN

13.1

Low

863,582

16

Little Rock, AR

12.7

Low

360,331

17

Huntsville, AL

12.3

Low

213,253

18

Davenport, IA--IL

11.9

Low

270,626

19

Salem, OR

11.4

Low

207,229

20

Lancaster, PA

10.8

Low

323,554

21

Vallejo, CA

10.7

Low

158,967

22

Mobile, AL

10.0

Low

317,605

23

Montgomery, AL

10.0

Low

196,892

24

Tuscaloosa, AL

9.50

Low

116,888

25

Poughkeepsie--Newburgh, NY

9.28

Low

351,982

26

Harrisburg, PA

8.99

Low

362,782

27

Frederick, MD

7.75

Low

119,144

28

Cincinnati, OH--KY--IN

6.95

Low

1,503,262

29

Chattanooga, TN--GA

6.93

Low

343,509

30

Portland, OR--WA

6.67

Low

1,583,138

31

Flint, MI

6.45

Low

365,096

32

Marysville, WA

6.33

Low

114,372

33

Charleston, WV

6.26

Low

182,991

34

St. Louis, MO--IL

5.94

Low

2,077,662

35

Muskegon, MI

5.89

Medium

154,729

36

Redding, CA

5.88

Low

105,267

37

Billings, MT

5.65

Low

100,317

38

Myrtle Beach, SC

5.46

Low

122,984

39

Kenosha, WI

5.43

Medium

110,942

40

Hagerstown, MD--WV--PA

5.11

Low

120,326

41

Lafayette, IN

5.09

Low

125,738

42

Green Bay, WI

4.94

Medium

187,316

43

Beaumont, TX

4.75

Low

139,304

44

Racine, WI

4.65

Medium

129,545

45

College Station--Bryan, TX

4.52

Low

132,500

46

Jackson, MS

4.30

Low

292,637

47

Topeka, KS

4.07

Low

142,411

48

Binghamton, NY--PA

4.00

Low

158,884

49

Eugene, OR

3.90

Low

224,049

50

Concord, NC

3.70

Low

115,057

51

Scranton, PA

3.63

Low

385,237

52

Trenton, NJ

3.61

Low

268,472

53

Springfield, MO

3.50

Low

215,004

54

Manchester, NH

3.27

Low

143,549

55

Savannah, GA

3.15

Low

208,886

56

Fort Collins, CO

3.10

Low

206,633

57

New Haven, CT

3.02

Low

531,314

58

Waterloo, IA

2.98

Low

108,298

59

Round Lake Beach--McHenry--Grayslake, IL--WI

2.94

Medium

226,848

60

Omaha, NE--IA

2.90

Low

626,623

61

Hickory, NC

2.72

Low

187,808

62

Deltona, FL

2.65

Low

147,713

63

Yakima, WA

2.55

Low

112,816

64

Boulder, CO

2.54

Low

112,299

65

North Port--Punta Gorda, FL

2.36

Low

122,421

66

Columbus, GA--AL

2.36

Low

242,324

67

Cedar Rapids, IA

2.32

Low

155,334

68

Antioch, CA

2.21

Low

217,591

69

Lake Charles, LA

2.18

Low

132,977

70

Nashville-Davidson, TN

2.15

Low

749,935

71

Knoxville, TN

2.14

Low

419,830

72

Albany, NY

2.07

Low

558,947

73

Springfield, MA--CT

2.07

Low

573,610

74

Odessa, TX

2.06

Medium

111,395

75

Hartford, CT

2.06

Low

851,535

76

Boise City, ID

2.04

Medium

272,625

77

Syracuse, NY

2.03

Low

402,267

78

Brownsville, TX

1.98

Medium

165,776

79

Murfreesboro, TN

1.96

Medium

135,855

80

Pensacola, FL--AL

1.91

Low

323,783

81

Fort Walton Beach, FL

1.91

Low

152,741

82

Spokane, WA--ID

1.90

Low

334,858

83

Ocala, FL

1.89

Low

106,542

84

Augusta-Richmond County, GA--SC

1.84

Low

335,630

85

Springfield, IL

1.79

Medium

153,516

86

Appleton, WI

1.77

Low

187,683

87

Pittsburgh, PA

1.76

Low

1,753,136

88

Fayetteville, NC

1.74

Low

276,368

89

Las Vegas, NV

1.74

Low

1,314,357

90

Danbury, CT--NY

1.72

Low

154,455

91

Grand Rapids, MI

1.67

Medium

539,080

92

Medford, OR

1.63

Low

128,780

93

Tulsa, OK

1.58

Low

558,329

94

Des Moines, IA

1.53

Low

370,505

95

Modesto, CA

1.52

Low

310,945

96

Jacksonville, FL

1.45

Medium

882,295

97

Vero Beach--Sebastian, FL

1.42

Low

120,962

98

Rockford, IL

1.37

Low

270,414

99

Burlington, VT

1.36

Low

105,365

100

Toledo, OH--MI

1.33

Low

503,008

101

Allentown--Bethlehem, PA--NJ

1.32

Low

576,408

102

Waterbury, CT

1.31

Low

189,026

103

Winter Haven, FL

1.29

Low

153,924

104

Harlingen, TX

1.25

Low

110,770

105

Tallahassee, FL

1.22

Medium

204,260

106

Cape Coral, FL

1.22

Medium

329,757

107

Merced, CA

1.18

Low

110,483

108

Greensboro, NC

1.14

Low

267,884

109

Rochester, NY

1.07

Low

694,396

110

Gainesville, FL

1.07

Medium

159,508

111

Sacramento, CA

1.05

Low

1,393,498

112

Johnson City, TN

1.05

Low

102,456

113

Birmingham, AL

1.01

Medium

663,615

114

Port St. Lucie, FL

0.99

Medium

270,774

115

Lakeland, FL

0.99

Medium

199,487

116

Kissimmee, FL

0.96

Low

186,667

117

Boston, MA--NH--RI

0.91

Low

4,032,484

118

Denton--Lewisville, TX

0.91

Medium

299,823

119

Charlotte, NC--SC

0.90

Low

758,927

120

Fayetteville--Springdale, AR

0.87

Medium

172,585

121

Abilene, TX

0.85

Medium

107,041

122

Richmond, VA

0.84

Low

818,836

123

Asheville, NC

0.79

Low

221,570

124

Spartanburg, SC

0.79

Low

145,058

125

Palm Bay--Melbourne, FL

0.79

Low

393,289

126

Reading, PA

0.78

Low

240,264

127

Bonita Springs--Naples, FL

0.78

Low

221,251

128

Laredo, TX

0.78

Low

175,586

129

Olympia--Lacey, WA

0.73

Low

143,826

130

Wilmington, NC

0.72

Low

161,149

131

Stockton, CA

0.72

Low

313,392

132

Reno, NV

0.71

Low

303,689

133

Utica, NY

0.70

Low

113,409

134

Pueblo, CO

0.70

Low

123,351

135

New Bedford, MA

0.69

Medium

146,730

136

Daytona Beach--Port Orange, FL

0.68

Low

255,353

137

Winston-Salem, NC

0.63

Low

299,290

138

Madison, WI

0.62

Low

329,533

139

Hemet, CA

0.60

Low

117,200

140

Detroit, MI

0.60

Low

3,903,377

141

Santa Rosa, CA

0.59

Medium

285,408

142

Lorain--Elyria, OH

0.58

Medium

193,586

143

Buffalo, NY

0.58

Medium

976,703

144

Bridgeport--Stamford, CT--NY

0.55

Medium

888,890

145

Fargo, ND--MN

0.55

Medium

142,477

146

Fresno, CA

0.54

Medium

554,923

147

Tyler, TX

0.54

Medium

101,494

148

Gastonia, NC

0.52

Low

141,407

149

Sarasota--Bradenton, FL

0.52

Medium

559,229

150

Milwaukee, WI

0.52

Medium

1,308,913

151

Corpus Christi, TX

0.51

Medium

293,925

152

Houston, TX

0.49

Low

3,822,509

153

Amarillo, TX

0.49

Low

179,312

154

Greenville, SC

0.49

Low

302,194

155

Seaside--Monterey--Marina, CA

0.47

Medium

125,503

156

Roanoke, VA

0.47

Low

197,442

157

Minneapolis--St. Paul, MN

0.45

Low

2,388,593

158

Simi Valley, CA

0.44

Low

112,345

159

Lubbock, TX

0.43

Low

202,225

160

South Lyon--Howell--Brighton, MI

0.41

Low

106,139

161

Athens-Clarke County, GA

0.40

Low

106,482

162

Santa Maria, CA

0.39

Low

120,297

163

Denver--Aurora, CO

0.39

Medium

1,984,887

164

High Point, NC

0.38

Low

132,844

165

Atlanta, GA

0.37

Medium

3,499,840

166

Thousand Oaks, CA

0.35

Low

210,990

167

Erie, PA

0.35

Medium

194,804

168

Gulfport--Biloxi, MS

0.34

Medium

205,754

169

Dayton, OH

0.34

Low

703,444

170

Salinas, CA

0.33

Medium

179,173

171

Lansing, MI

0.33

Low

300,032

172

Raleigh, NC

0.33

Medium

541,527

173

Bakersfield, CA

0.32

Medium

396,125

174

Visalia, CA

0.32

Medium

120,044

175

Santa Barbara, CA

0.30

Low

196,263

176

Killeen, TX

0.30

Medium

167,976

177

Providence, RI--MA

0.30

Low

1,174,548

178

Santa Clarita, CA

0.29

Low

170,481

179

Austin, TX

0.28

Medium

901,920

180

Seattle, WA

0.27

Low

2,712,205

181

Indio--Cathedral City--Palm Springs, CA

0.27

Low

254,856

182

McAllen, TX

0.27

Low

523,144

183

Wichita, KS

0.27

Medium

422,301

184

Champaign, IL

0.27

Medium

123,938

185

Oklahoma City, OK

0.26

Low

747,003

186

Orlando, FL

0.26

Medium

1,157,431

187

Baltimore, MD

0.26

Medium

2,076,354

188

Canton, OH

0.26

Low

266,595

189

Indianapolis, IN

0.25

Medium

1,218,919

190

Victorville--Hesperia--Apple Valley, CA

0.25

Low

200,436

191

Washington, DC--VA--MD

0.23

Low

3,933,920

192

Columbus, OH

0.22

Low

1,133,193

193

Youngstown, OH--PA

0.21

Low

417,437

194

Ogden--Layton, UT

0.21

Medium

417,933

195

Lafayette, LA

0.21

Low

178,079

196

Virginia Beach, VA

0.21

Low

1,394,439

197

Albuquerque, NM

0.21

Medium

598,191

198

Panama City, FL

0.20

Low

132,419

199

Temecula--Murrieta, CA

0.20

Low

229,810

200

Philadelphia, PA--NJ--DE--MD

0.19

Low

5,149,079

201

Dallas--Fort Worth--Arlington, TX

0.18

Medium

4,145,659

202

Phoenix--Mesa, AZ

0.18

Medium

2,907,049

203

Colorado Springs, CO

0.18

Medium

466,122

204

Akron, OH

0.18

Low

570,215

205

New York--Newark, NY--NJ--CT

0.17

Medium

17,799,861

206

Tampa--St. Petersburg, FL

0.17

Medium

2,062,339

207

Lancaster--Palmdale, CA

0.16

Low

263,532

208

Oxnard, CA

0.15

Medium

337,591

209

Ann Arbor, MI

0.14

Low

283,904

210

Tucson, AZ

0.13

Medium

720,425

211

Chicago, IL--IN

0.12

Medium

8,307,904

212

Concord, CA

0.12

Medium

552,624

213

Charleston--North Charleston, SC

0.12

Medium

423,410

214

Las Cruces, NM

0.12

Medium

104,186

215

Cleveland, OH

0.10

Medium

1,786,647

216

El Paso, TX--NM

0.07

High

674,801

217

Mission Viejo, CA

0.06

High

533,015

218

Riverside--San Bernardino, CA

0.06

High

1,506,816

219

Salt Lake City, UT

0.05

High

887,650

220

Los Angeles--Long Beach--Santa Ana, CA

0.05

High

11,789,487

221

San Diego, CA

0.05

High

2,674,436

222

San Jose, CA

0.04

High

1,538,312

223

Lincoln, NE

0.04

High

226,582

224

Miami, FL

0.04

High

4,919,036

225

San Antonio, TX

0.04

High

1,327,554

 


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