Methods Workgroup

This workgroup will evaluate the existing science for estimating water availability and consumptive use. They will catalog and document the existing methods. They will also identify gaps and needs for further science and new methodologies for estimating water availability and consumptive use. This workgroup will identify existing methods being used by the states as well as emerging methods that are being developed by federal agencies (i.e. USGS, USBR, and NASA) and those being developed by universities. The goal is to provide a better understanding of the existing methodologies and to allow for comparisons of those methods.

The state capabilities assessment workgroup will be conducting a survey of state data management capabilities, as well as state methods used for consumptive use estimation. The methods workgroup will work closely with the state capabilities assessment workgroup to provide the appropriate questions to catalog state methods to include in the survey.


  • Methodology Questions for the State Capabilities Survey (Word Document .docx): The workgroup had developed questions for the state capabilities survey to catalog methods used by the states to determine consumptive use.
  • Methods Descriptor Format and ERD (Excel Document .xlsx): The workgroup will define a format by which these methods can be described (i.e. level of detail on the methodology, citations, naming conventions, etc.).
  • Method Descriptions Report: This report will catalog the methods that currently exist to estimate water consumption and availability. The report will also identify gaps in the science, data, or methodology, and make recommendations for how to address those gaps.
  • Domain Lists: A list of the agreed upon terminology that will be used for those data elements defined by a domain list (i.e. units of measure, methods, counties, HUCs, etc.)
  • Recommendations for Maintenance of the Methods Catalog: To make the methods catalog useful, there will need to be a mechanism or process in place for maintaining the catalog, by adding new methods, making changes to existing methods, and archiving methods that are no longer used.


The next meeting of this workgroup is scheduled for the January 2013.

Past Meetings and Minutes

WG2 – November 21, 2011 – Minutes

WG2 – December 12, 2011 – Minutes

WG2 – January 20, 2012 – Minutes