1,100 US counties face water supply crisis by 2050, says report
03 Aug 10 by desalination
A new analysis for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), examining the effects of global warming on water supply and demand in the contiguous United States, has found that more than 1,100 counties will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming.
Not including Alaska and Hawaii, this is more than a third of the counties in the USA.
The analysis by Tetra Tech finds that more than 400 of these counties will face extremely high risks of water shortages. Some states have an extreme or high risk to water sustainability, or are likely to see limitations on water availability as demand exceeds supply by 2050.
These areas include parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In particular, in the Great Plains and Southwest United States, water sustainability is at extreme risk, says the report.
While water management and climate change adaptation plans will be essential to lessen the impacts, they cannot be expected to counter the effects of a warming climate, the report warns. One reason is that the changes may simply outrun the potential for alternatives such as modifying withdrawals, increasing water use efficiency, increased water recycling, enhancing groundwater recharge, rainwater harvesting and inter-basin or inter-county transfers to make up for water deficits.
The widespread nature of the risk of water shortages may also limit the effectiveness of local solutions – such as acquiring more water from a neighboring county or basin – since many other localities will be trying to get control of the same resource.
Water withdrawal will grow by 25% in many areas of the US including the arid Arizona/New Mexico area, the populated areas in the South Atlantic region, Florida, the Mississippi River basin, and Washington DC and surrounding regions.
Login on register to comment
A world leader committed to preserving resources through desalination and reuse
The Group designs
Leading expert delivers online masterclass on membrane fouling
There is only one week left to register for this exciting new format of online event and deepen your understanding of membrane fouling in only one hour.
Singapore International Water Week Turns 10 Years: Celebrating a Decade of Accomplishment in the Global Water Industry
The Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) is the world's premier platform to connect the water industry for innovative solutions and sustainable urban water management. The biennial event gathers stakeholders from the global water industry to share best practices
Related supplier content
Xylem reuse system to up potable water supply in Los Angeles
Water technology company
Sterlitech offers new ultrafiltration membranes
Laboratory products and membrane testing firm Sterlitech is offering Synder Filtration's recently developed ultrafiltration membranes
Osmoflo reports concentrate reduction success
Australian desalination company Osmoflo has reported success with site tests of its concentrate reduction technology for reverse osmosis (RO) plants. The firm said its Brine Squeezer system increased recovery from 80% to 95% in a mine wastewater recovery pilot.