A new report commissioned by the US National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has concluded that at current rates of water usage and global warming, some 35% of US counties could face water shortages by 2050. Dan Lashof, NRDC Climate Center Director, further explained the findings.
Dan Lashof (m): That’s more than 1,100 US counties in the lower 48 states now looking at higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as a result of global warming. The report also finds more than 400 counties facing extremely high risk for water shortages, which is a 14-fold increase.
It really is a groundbreaking report that puts together the data in a new way that has not been attempted before, by drilling down to the county level, and providing an index of the risk of water shortages due to climate change.
HOST: Using publicly available data, researchers first analyzed current water withdrawals for different sectors such as irrigation and municipal water supply, then estimated future demands if these usage patterns continue. Comparing these figures with a forecast of water availability in 2050 revealed a situation that could be severe enough to force the US to engage in long-term water rationing.
Dan Lashof (m): The reality is that we need to take action on climate change and clean energy now, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because the alternative of making painful, unplanned changes later, is not a pretty prospect to think about.
HOST: Many thanks, Director Lashof, US National Resources Defense Council and all contributing researchers for your insightful findings on the risks to water supplies imposed by climate change.
May governments and all individuals recognize the urgency of the situation and act now to protect both resources and lives from global warming.
During an August 2009 videoconference in Thailand, Supreme Master Ching Hai, highlighted as on many previous occasions the swift and simple measures needed to save endangered resources such as our precious water supplies.