Water Is Getting Scarce
What It Could Mean To All Of Us.
Across the globe, there are numerous places where water is becoming more and more scarce. The United States, Mexico, and Europe are all reporting receding water lines in lakes, rivers, and dams.
Here in the US, Lake Powell, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River are experiencing record drops in water levels threatening the water supply of several states including California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. But drought is causing concern in more and more places. Many western states are reporting drought conditions that if taken as a sign of things to come, could spell trouble for all of us.
Drought conditions will only worsen as global warming continues to be a problem. An aerial photo of Lake Mead reveals just how much water has been lost in the last two decades. The results are astounding. In some areas, the lake has lost a whopping 160 feet of water. Where has it gone? To more than 25 million residents across six states including industrial and agricultural uses in those states and as far as Mexico. Most of that water is produced by snow melt from the Rocky Mountains and rain along the Colorado River.
In Europe, authorities reported that droughts are affecting 60% of the European Union and Great Britain, in what is described as some of the driest conditions in hundreds of years. 45% of the EU is under drought warning conditions with 15% on “red alert” or severe water deficiency. In France, one hundred municipalities have no running water. Germany’s Rhine River is dangerously low and is hindering navigable waters that depend on goods being delivered. Spain and Portugal are experiencing their driest weather in 1200 years and the Po River in Italy has completely dried up in numerous places. With the recent heat waves, it does not look like it will get any better.
Why does it matter? The heat and drought conditions threaten to destroy crops and could lead to food shortages around the world. Low water levels in rivers also threaten power plants and river transport to vital industries. Coupled with increased forest fires and human death tolls, the lack of water represents a clear and present danger to society. What can we do to fight back? Conserve water as much as possible. Do not run facets at home. Turn on the water when you need it and off when you do not. Cut down on shower time and install low-flow shower heads and toilets when you can. Don’t open fire hydrants during hot weather, it's hard not to but we lose a lot of water to open hydrants, particularly in large cities. Reconsider your watering schedule for your lawn. Water your lawn during the evening hours and cut down on watering the day after heavy rain. I understand if you love to wash your car but consider cutting down on washes by using products that allow you to wash your car between washes, without water and get you the same great results.
There are many things we can do differently that will result in less water usage. Take the time to understand what those things are and why they are important. Water scarcity is only going to get worse in the coming years and doing what you can now will go a long way as long as we all pitch in. Water is a natural resource that we depend upon for life and we need to understand that without it life would be extinguished.
What would a world without enough water look like? Tragically, there would be wars over water. Cities would change as the availability of water will determine who lives and who dies. Lakes and rivers will dry up and become barren reminders of what we once had. Many would die without the precious resource. People will rise against one another in a fight to survive. It would be another terrible footnote in the story of a once great civilization. It sounds horrible because it is and while there is still a way to go before that scenario becomes a reality our children or their children will inherit a problem that we created. What does it mean for us? Come on, use your imagination. It’s not that hard to figure out.