Social Implications Due to population increase in the U.S., there is a greater demand for water so there is a greater strain on the resources present Americans make up 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s water While U.S. per capita water use has declined, it is offset by the increase in population
Economical Implications States in the U.S. like California that consume a great deal of water do not have water resources to supply the people so they have to purchase water from other states putting a burden on that state’s economy America’s breadbasket relies heavily on the Ogallala aquifer which is rapidly being depleted Many water resources in the U.S. are shared between many States – who do they really belong to, who is responsible for maintaining them, etc.
Political Implications The Colorado river eventually empties into Mexico. The U.S. has to maintain strong political ties with Mexico since there have been an increase in dams along the river for hydroelectric power as well used for human consumption. Because the competition for limited water resources is becoming greater and greater, States in the U.S. fight over water, make it a part of the political platform, and it could lead to civil unrest
Environmental Implications Groundwater is being depleted faster than it is being recharged Droughts are becoming more severe leading to shortage of usable farmland for plants and livestock Pictures of the impact of droughts are shown on the next slide as well as areas in the U.S. that are most at risk for droughts
Environmental Implications When groundwater gets depleted, salt water replaces the fresh water so coastal area farming is becoming more and more difficult as plants can’t tolerate salty water Areas in the U.S. where population is growing at a high rate have the most negative impact on the environment – Las Vegas, Nevada was built in the desert with limited water resources – they have to get water from other states
Potential Solutions Water saving sprinklers on farms that reduce rate of evaporation Water saving toilets Xeri-scaped lawns – remove grass and plant things that require very little water – each plant is watered individually Water saving shower-heads Take shorter showers, not baths Grey water used to water plants Give tax incentives for conserving water and lowering personal consumption