Water News

The Drought; Facts, Myths and Mysteries

As we have all heard for years, the Southwestern United States is suffering from a severe drought. In some areas such as California, October 1st marked the 6th consecutive year of the drought with no sign of relief. 2013 was the driest year on record prompting many states in this region to implement water conservation programs. It is more important now than ever to educate yourself about the drought and understand what’s really going on.
Ingrid Ingebretsen writes blogs about clean water and water filtration systems for LifeSource Water Systems. Ingrid Ingebretsen

Top uses for water

The U.S. water supply doesn’t just go towards your drinking water. It is used across a broad range of industries that depend on water to function. 

1)    Thermoelectric power – 41.5%
2)    Irrigation – 37%
3)    Residential – 8.5%
4)    Other various uses – 5.4% 
5)    Industrial – 5%
6)    Aquaculture – 2.6%

Where is the drought most severe?

-    Particularly drought-stricken states – California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Florida
-    The impacts from these areas are far-reaching

Top problems the drought has caused

-    Economic problems – farmers lose crops, ranchers pay more to maintain livestock, businesses that rely on agriculture and hydropower go out of business, food production becomes more expensive
-    Environmental problems – lack of food and water, altered migration of wildlife, loss of wetlands and aquatic habitats, more wildfires, low soil quality
-    Social problems – anxiety about economic loses, health problems from poor water quality, reduced incomes, fewer water-related recreational activities

Programs implemented to conserve water

-    Conservation mandates in California – Fresno, San Diego, San Luis Obispo
-    Bans or strict limitations on wasteful salt-based systems in California – Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara
-    Programs that provide vouchers for high-efficiency toilets – Fort Worth, TX, Dallas, TX, New York, NY

Estimated drought time frame

-    Similar droughts in the Southwestern United States have lasted 10-20 years
-    Other droughts have lasted as long as 240 years
-    Driest period in the last 400 years
-    No completely reliable way of estimating drought time frame

The drought ravaging Southwestern America has economic, environmental and social impacts that are liable to affect the entire country.

There is no definite end date in sight therefore it’s everyone’s responsibility to be well-informed and to strive for water conservation to preserve a precious resource that is running out. 

The drought ravaging Southwestern America has economic, environmental and social impacts that are liable to affect the entire country.

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