- Monteith, Douglas B.
University of Maine Graduate School
Supplying water for consumer use is a critical and important function. Water is the lifeblood of human activity and industry. Without it, all life and production would cease, Maine is relatively fortunate with respect to the total quantity of water available for use. Endowed with many lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams and a very high proportion of water surface area to total area, the state is assured of ample supplies of water for some time in the future and a high degree of flexibility in managing this resource. With a total water area of 926,00 across consisting of 1,343 streams and 2,222 lakes (Outdoor Recreation Study Team, 1966), the task of locating suitable supplies of surface water to meet the needs of the population is considerably facilitated.
Although, on a nationwide basis, municipal water systems supply only 7 per cent of current gross supplies in terms of withdrawal, municipal water is generally the most valuable use of water from both the cost and demand points of view (Hirshleifer et al., 1960).