The American Prospect (May 2008)
Here is a great article detailing the ongoing water problem experienced last year in the Southwest. I especially like the summary statement in the last paragraph, “Ample evidence from cities not only in the West but all over the country shows that smart water use, including conservation, efficiency, and behavioral changes, is the most cost-effective, least destructive, and most enduring approach to handling diminishing water supplies.”
Changing Water Policies in the Dry Southwest
National Geographic (Aug. 19, 2014)
This article does a good job of explaining what is happening with the underground water aquifers in the United States and why we should be concerned. Droughts are forcing us to rely more and more on these aquifers instead of surface water sources. They are being depleted at alarming rates. We cannot continue to take water for granted. Comprehensive steps and conservation efforts need to be developed and implemented before it is too late.
If You Think the Water Crisis Can’t Get Worse, Wait Until the Aquifers Are Drained
West’s historic drought stokes fears of water crisis (Washington Post, Aug. 17, 2014)
Two things jump out to me in this extensive article about the drought in the Soutwestern United States. First, the sheer size of the area (a dozen states) that is affected. Secondly, the fact that the short term shift to groundwater in the most negatively affected area such as southern California, is not a long term solution.
Seven states running out of water (USA Today, June 1, 2014)
Drought conditions are extensive and continuing in many areas of the Southwest. This article also details the large drop in reservoir levels in these states.
Water scarcity drives US communities toward smarter use recycling (Bloomberg News, March 24, 2014)
This article talks at length about the need to change our current single pipe distribution system and how much water we are not reusing. Although it does emphasize the need to change our approach and the need to recycle our water for various non-potable reuse applications as well as potentially potable ones, it does not elaborate on the expense of doing so other than mentioning that these efforts will increase water costs substantially.
Drought reaches record 56% of Continental US (LiveScience, July 5, 2012)
This article details that this year is the most extensive (app. 56%) in the 12 year history of the Drought Monitor Index and also this has occurred at an earlier date than any previous high drought year.
As this well-researched article in USA TODAY indicates, the cost of water is rising no matter where you are located in the United States with higher rates yet to come.
“Aging Water Infrastructure”, EPA Science Matters Newsletter
In addition to increasing demand for water, the condition of our existing water infrastructure contributes greatly to rising costs. According to the EPA, there is a potential $500 billion gap in funding by the year 2020 between needs and spending on the nation’s water infrastructure. Take a look at this EPA article for more information.