I have said many times that conservation will never be a solution to man’s water problems. To believe otherwise is to ignore both science and the needs of man. While the reduction of things like watering grass, washing cars, windows and other less essential activities will for a short time help reduce the draw down of water supplies, it will always be offset by population growth. Furthermore, restricting the use of water decreases quality of life and leads to the devaluation and decay of the local economy and real estate. Eventually, people will stop investing in areas that do not have ample water.
The Lake Mead/Boulder Dam project remains the largest water project in history, bringing water and electricity to Arizona, California and Nevada. As we speak the Colorado river, from which these states draw water is shrinking. Experts blame extreme drought, however an honest examination of the USGS records on such things demonstrates that waterfall in this area is completely normal and well within the fluctuations we have seen for more than 100 years. The problem is that too many people are drawing from this limited resource.
Let me be clear, there is no shortage of clean water on Earth. More than 70% of Earth is covered by water and it is asinine to suggest that man is running out of water. What man is running out of is common sense. Our leadership has failed miserably at maintaining, improving and planning for the the future water needs of man. Since the Lake Mead project, man has done little to create water security for the next generation.
Conservation is only a temporary fix and is a great tool to get us to the next water project/solution. Providing for our present and future water needs must involve the following:
- Limits on construction and new homes based on available water resources
- Improvements in existing treatment plans
- Investment into new storage capacity
- Infrastructure/pipelines to connect water starved communities to areas of great water abundance.
Until these things are addressed and put into action we are on a collision course with water shortages and increasingly poisoned water.