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Appendix A: Glossary

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Abstracted water is used for production and consumption activities. It comprises water intake, water withdrawn or removed from the soil, and water used for hydro-electric generation.

Aquifer is an underground stratum of rock or sediment that contains water and transmits water readily.

Baseflow is that part of streamflow that is sustained by groundwater discharge.

Groundwater is located beneath the soil surface. It includes soil moisture and water stored in aquifers, and supplies springs and wells.

Gross water use is the sum of water intake and recirculated water.

In-stream water uses do not remove water from its source.

Renewable water is the volume of water that supplies aquifers and/or surface water bodies that is replenished in an average year by precipitation.

Runoff is the portion of precipitation, and melt from snowpack and glaciers, that, by a variety of paths above and below the surface of the ground, reaches the stream channel. Once it enters a stream channel runoff becomes streamflow.

Streamflow is the flow rate, or discharge, of water in a water course. Streamflow is generated from a combination of baseflow and runoff.

Wastewater refers to water that is returned to the environment after being used during some activity or process, and it may be treated or untreated at the location of use prior to being discharged.

Water consumption is calculated as the difference between water intake and water discharge and is the portion of water not returned directly to the water environment.

Water demand is the amount of water that society would like to withdraw from water resources. In this article, water intake is a taken as a proxy for demand. If not all demands are met then water intake would underestimate demand.

Water discharge refers to water that is returned to the environment in its liquid state, usually close to an industrial establishment. Discharged water may be treated or untreated. Evaporation is water consumption, not water discharge.

Water intake refers to the total amount of water added to the water system of an establishment or household to replace water discharged or consumed. It may be broken down into the amounts withdrawn from various sources (for example, surface water or groundwater) and the amounts used for various purposes, or end uses. It is often also referred to as water withdrawal. In this article, water intake is taken as a proxy for demand. If not all demands are met then water intake would underestimate demand.

Water recirculation refers to the process of using water more than once in an industrial establishment. It applies mainly to industrial cooling and processing activities.

Water supply comprises the major sources that contribute to our water resources—precipitation, surface water and groundwater.

Water use is the amount of water withdrawn from water resources to support society in both the economic and residential sectors.

Water withdrawal is synonymous with water intake.

Water yield is the amount of freshwater derived from unregulated flow measurements for a given geographic area over a defined period of time and is an estimate of the renewable water. Water yield also includes a volume of water that is not renewable, specifically that portion of glacial melt water coming from receding glaciers.

Wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, swamp, bog, peatland or shallow water that include permanent or temporary areas with static or flowing water that is fresh, brackish, or marine. The areas may be naturally occurring or artificial.