Atlanta Fights To Stay Hydrated

Peter R. Orszag, President Obama's former director of the Office of Management and Budget, pens an article on Atlanta's water war, and the coming flood of water crisis that await the United States.

As the largest city in the U.S. that is not near a major body of water, Atlanta's thirst for drinking water to supply its growing population has caused a nasty conflict with its neighbors that has been brewing for the past couple of decades. While temporarily unresolved as the courts weigh in, Atlanta's water wars are a sign of things to come, notes Orszag:

"As Deane Dray and other colleagues of mine at Citigroup Inc. have written, 'There is an alarming global supply-demand imbalance, worsened by pollution and draining of underground aquifers reducing the available fresh water supply.' The massive Ogallala aquifer under the Great Plains, for example, is projected to run dry in two to three decades given recent withdrawal rates. Similarly, in the past two decades, groundwater resources in Great Lakes communities like Chicago and Milwaukee have fallen by 1,000 feet."

At the same time that the supply issue grows, a delivery problem grows along with it. "Our aging water pipes are another challenge. The U.S. has roughly 700,000 miles of these pipes, and most are more than 60 years old. Substantial investment is needed to fix or replace them," writes Orszag.

As for solutions for these challenges, Orszag proposes starting with adjusting water prices to reflected usage, and utilizing low interest rates to finance investment in new technologies and replacement pipes.

Full Story: Atlanta’s Water War Is First in a Gathering Flood

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.