Lynne Sladky/AP
A girl carries a bucket of water on her head after filling up at a clean water station in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AP).

Global Water Crisis Coming to a Boil

May 07, 2008 02:39 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by findingDulcinea staff
Experts say that shortages are becoming increasingly common at home and abroad and are predicting a drier future.

30-Second Summary

Water, a resource that is often taken for granted, is now a hot-button issue as economic growth and rising standards of living lead water usage to outpace the world’s supply.

“Shortages are reaching crisis proportions in even the most highly developed regions, and they’re quickly becoming commonplace in our own backyard,” reports Wired magazine. Several regions of the U.S. are already dealing with shortages, and the summer ahead will mean water-saving measures for some states.

In Wisconsin, water has become a visible issue as state lake levels decline. Residents of Georgia will have to continue to conserve water as the state enters year three of a historic drought in the southeast region. And California faces its worst shortage in decades this summer due to record dry weather.

As supplies dwindle and demand grows, water is becoming “the next oil,” warns Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Sarah Slaughter.

Developing countries have long been familiar with shortages, and conditions are likely to worsen in the future. MSN reports that violent altercations recently broke out over water in Delhi, where several areas of the city have not received water since last week.

According to the World Water Council, 1.1 billion people in the world live without clean drinking water, while 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation.

Headline Links: ‘Peak water’ and ‘the next oil’

Related Topics: Water issues at home and abroad

In the U.S.: Wisconsin, Georgia, California, the Western region
Around the world: India, Australia and Myanmar

Reference: Tips to save water, world flashpoints map, and an overview of the crisis


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines