America's Water Crisis

by jmocall on September 25, 2015 - 3:06pm

Around half of the United States is in the midst of a drought, some places it is very severe, which will have serious detrimental effects on the business, agriculture and wildlife across the country. Grace Wyler a writer for Business Insider wrote an article discussing the drought and how it may be more severe than previously thought based off a study done by the Columbia University Water Center. The article then begins to focus on the problems arising from this drought, and the cities that will be hit the hardest, which include: Washington DC metro area, New York metro area, California and various agricultural areas.

 

A thought about this article that was not brought up by the author is the human right to water. The United Nations has passed an international law stating that all humans have right to clean, safe, sufficient water. If in the future this were not possible, it would fall on the government to answer the people. Who gets the water? Should it be the businesses, the people, or the farmers? Or perhaps it would be privatized and used as an economic good. But how would the general population react to an infringement of their rights?

 

The article focuses on The United States drought and as a Canadian I thought our water situation. Currently we are not in trouble, but what about the future? It may be a good idea to start addressing this publically to secure water availability in the future and raise awareness to the general public of Canada. Although there is a fair amount of uncertainty with Canada’s future with fresh water which makes the creating a viable solution difficult.

 

In the end of the article she is quoting the director of the Columbia University Water Center for solutions to the drought. The two solutions stated were one, to raise awareness to the general public and how to properly manage water in homes, which is being done at the moment an example being this article. The second solutions stated were to develop and improve the countries water storage capabilities. Which would be very cost intensive. Estimated to be about $1.5 trillion over the next twenty years, also saying since the Reagan era there have been no investments in water infrastructure. Would creating a desalination plant be the right answer? Or possibly increasing the amount of water they import assuming they could find a country to comply.

 

In conclusion, water scarcity in the United States is very scary problem that could start becoming global. The US must start investing in water infrastructure to secure their future and raising awareness can only do so much.

 

Grace Wyler. (May 22, 2015) All Around The US, Risks Of A Water Crisis Are Much Bigger Than People Realize. Business Insider. Retrieved from:

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-drought-water-scarcity-2013-5

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