Running out of water

Parts of the US are preparing to implement strict plans on water rationing

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    Scenes like this are common across the US midwest as the drought has weakened and killed this years production [AP]

    Texas is running out of water as the worst drought in more than a century continues with no reprieve in sight.

    In the city of San Angelo, Texas, they are running out of water fast. City officials are speculating that they only have enough water for its 94,000 residents to last one more year. On 16 October, they will enforce the highest level of emergency water rationing by declaring a ban on watering lawns, golf courses and forbid water for swimming pools and car washes.

    Water usage fees are also expected to rise in hopes that citizens will be more aware of the water they are using at home.

    San Angelo is only one city in Texas that is feeling the drought. More than half of the state is rated severe or worse in terms of drought status. Just to the north in the state of Oklahoma, it’s a whopping 95% of the state that is experiencing an even worse “extreme” status.

    Many people are quick to blame the drought on global climate change. And yes, while most agree that climate change is happening, few think of the effect that population growth and decades of pumping from underground natural reservoirs has had to accelerate this crisis.

    Farming across the US accounts for about 70% of all the fresh water usage. As the world’s populations continues to grow so does the demand for harvested products. Unfortunately, years of low rainfall and higher temperatures have accelerated the depletion of lakes and reservoirs.

    With growing and moving populations, people need to remember that water is not an ‘all you can consume’ asset. This is being realized on the Colorado River which supplies most of the water for the southwestern US. As more people move to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas, a water supply which historically has flowed uninterrupted, may now dry up in the next 45 years.

     

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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