Measure freshwater consumption against locally sustainable levels.
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1. Determine sustainable freshwater withdrawal rates* for your local government area including any protected watersheds managed by or on behalf of the local government.
2. Calculate current freshwater withdrawal for your local government area. Include water withdrawn for any purpose (residential, agricultural, industrial, recreational, etc.) that is consumptive.** Exclude desalinated seawater.
3. Compare the sustainable and current withdrawal rates.
* Sustainable water withdrawal ensures the current and future availability of sufficient freshwater (groundwater, aquifers, lakes, wetlands and streams) to meet basic human needs and support healthy ecosystems. The sustainable rate may vary based on precipitation rates or other factors.
** This measure is intended to capture consumptive water use, meaning water that is withdrawn and no longer made immediately available within the same watershed at the same level of quality or higher than when it was withdrawn.
Calculate total water use (household, industrial and agricultural) per capita, excluding recycled water, harvested rainwater and desalinated seawater.