We have a severe and dangerous water problem in the Unites States. We’re running out of that liquid gold and there’s no way to replace what we’re using at the rate we’re using it. We can live without oil or natural gas or electricity. We cannot survive a week without water.
Sure, we lived through the Dust Bowl Days and the horrific droughts of the 1930’s — but that didn’t stop us from building cities in the middle of the desert and the lack of such a precious resource didn’t stop us from planting tons of trees and lots of agriculture that our water tables could not naturally support. Now, we’re not only in danger of growing fewer crops, we’re tempting the death of our Empire in total loss swaths of our nation as water wells and aquifers naturally dry up and die.
Vast stretches of Texas farmland lying over the aquifer no longer support irrigation. In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers. And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.
Drying out isn’t just a USA issue. Water is in world crises as the the revolution in Syria demonstrates the want to kill for clean water:
Then, between 2006 and 2011, some 60 percent of Syria’s land mass was ravaged by the drought and, with the water table already too low and river irrigation shrunken, it wiped out the livelihoods of 800,000 Syrian farmers and herders, the United Nations reported. “Half the population in Syria between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers left the land” for urban areas during the last decade, said Aita. And with Assad doing nothing to help the drought refugees, a lot of very simple farmers and their kids got politicized. “State and government was invented in this part of the world, in ancient Mesopotamia, precisely to manage irrigation and crop growing,” said Aita, “and Assad failed in that basic task.”
Las Vegas, a town built entirely in the desert, without any natural water resources, tips the fealty of the land against itself and its neighbors:
Dying cities, like dying people, reveal their characters near the end. Some go out with dignity, others grasp wildly at any scheme to avoid their fate, no matter at what harm to others. Case in point: Las Vegas, a clutch of casinos, bars and brothels built in the worst place you could build a city, in order to cater to the worst urges of human nature. Now this synthetic oasis in the desert is running out of water, and proposes a solution consistent with its traditional ethics: we’ll just take somebody else’s water.
Seven States are running out of water:
The United States is in the midst of one of the biggest droughts in recent memory. At last count, over half of the lower 48 states had abnormally dry conditions and are suffering from at least moderate drought. More than 80% of seven states were as of last week in “severe drought,” characterized by crop or pasture loss, water shortage and water restrictions. Depending on whether the hardest-hit regions see significant precipitation, crops yields could fall and drought conditions could persist for months to come. Based on the latest data provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the seven states running out of water.
What kind of life and democracy can we expect to have as a nation if we run out of water? We need to turn off the gaudy water fountains in Las Vegas and Kansas City. We need to close down water parks for their unnecessary wasting of a precious natural resource. We need to value potable water over every other natural resource — or life as we have come to abuse it — will irrevocably change with our thirsty withering.