Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Coming U.S. Water Shortage: Newest Dire Prediction


The next shortage for the United States that some predict? Oil? Gold? Food?

How about water. Those living in parts of many western states already know this as old news, but it's something new to many parts of the country.

Three states: California, Texas and Forida account for over a quarter of all the water used in the U.S. The government projects that as many as 36 states could face water shortages in the next 5 years.

More from the story by Brian Skoloff, at the AP:
An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions. Florida doesn't have nearly enough water for its expected population boom. The Great Lakes are shrinking. Upstate New York's reservoirs have dropped to record lows. And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year. Across America, the picture is critically clear - the nation's freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst.

The government projects that at least 36 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, waste and excess.

"Is it a crisis? If we don't do some decent water planning, it could be," said Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the Denver-based American Water Works Association.

The price tag for ensuring a reliable water supply could be staggering. Experts estimate that just upgrading pipes to handle new supplies could cost the nation $300 billion over 30 years.

"Unfortunately, there's just not going to be any more cheap water," said Randy Brown, Pompano Beach's utilities director.

It's not just America's problem - it's global.

Australia is in the midst of a 30-year dry spell, and population growth in urban centers of sub-Saharan Africa is straining resources. Asia has 60 percent of the world's population, but only about 30 percent of its freshwater.
The story goes on to tie the predicted shortages, with so many other things these days, to that boogiest of men global warming/climate change. So another ill chicken is supposedly coming home to roost.

The oceans will rise, covering which states? Weren't Florida and California included? So while 20 feet under water, they'll be bereft of water. Talk about an inconvenient truth: these dire predictions from climate change are going to require a clearinghouse to keep from contradicting each other.

Perhaps good news will come, as it often does in the mail. Battling the forces of a torrential downpour, the only thing that's there is the water bill.

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