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Welcome to 'Peak Water'
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Dr. Michael Shank (the latter from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network) write to sound a warning about the a looming water supply crisis in the United States.
America is entering a new phase of “peak water”, the point at which freshwater is being consumed faster than it is replenished. Already, 40 state water managers expect water shortages to occur in their states over the next 10 years.
Nearly one in 10 watersheds, an area of land where water drains into one place, are stressed by the impact of arid conditions. Over 80 percent of continental U.S. is abnormally dry and, with 17 of the 18 warmest years in recorded history occurring since 2001, we can expect even drier conditions to become more common.
The opinion piece includes details about what planners and politicians are already doing to prepare for the looming changes in water supply as a result of climate change—but current efforts leave a lot of necessary work toward addressing future water scarcity incomplete.