The manipulation of water resources is a common human solution to water-related problems. Of particular interest because of impacts on both source and destination is the anthropogenic movement of water from one basin to another, or inter-basin transfers (IBTs). In the United States, IBTs occur widely in both wet and dry regions, but IBT data are not collated and served in a coordinated way.
Thus researchers wishing to account for transfers between basins have faced difficulty in doing so. Here we present the outcome of a systematic investigation into inter-basin surface water transfers connected with public water supplies in the conterminous United States (CONUS), 1986 to 2015.
The present open-access geodatabase includes transfer volumes collected, evaluated, and compiled from disparate sources. We provide an updated snapshot of CONUS IBTs at a higher spatial resolution of points of withdrawal and delivery than previous datasets. This paper puts the national inter-basin transfer data in context, and shows how we acquired, structured, and validated the locations and volumes of surface water transfers in public water systems.