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Pairing Quantity and Quality in a Mass Balance of Water in California

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One of the tools used to assess water availability is a water budget, which is useful for tracking quantity, but does not provide information regarding the quality of the water. This paper introduces a seven-step method for creating a water budget, in the form of a modified mass flow diagram that depicts the quality of each quantity of water. The method involves delineating the system boundary for the water balance; selecting the water budget time period to be used for analysis; collecting water quantity data applicable to the selected system boundary and time period; drawing a modified mass flow diagram; selecting and assigning a color code to the selected water quality scale; applying the color code representing water quality to the modified mass flow diagram; and ordering diagram slices by level of water quality. Adding water quality to water budgets may not only show areas where there is room for improvement, but also depict areas where there are resources and opportunities that might not have been visually obvious from a table of numbers.



40 Engineering, 4011 Environmental Engineering

Journal Title

Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment

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American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)