The US Is Running Out of Water

Photo of Lake Powell in 2014 shows it half-empty of water.

Photo of Lake Powell in 2014 shows it half-empty of water.

States are running out of water and it’s not just the arid ones out west, with wildfires and water restrictions. A recent GAO report found that 40 out of 50 states in the union expect to have serious regional and local water shortages in the next 10 years. Montana, among the most critically affected, faces a statewide water shortage that threatens the agricultural livelihood of many of its residents. In coastal Maryland, rising ocean levels are tainting fresh water aquifers, which are then unusable without costly desalination.

Available water may be shrinking in many places across the US, but population is growing. Arid Arizona and Nevada expect their populations to double in the next 10 years, putting further strain on municipal supplies. Nevada is even offering incentives for homeowners to remove their lawns (and prohibiting new construction from planting grass). The drought in the western US has dragged on for five years now. Data from the Palmer Index, which tracks drought conditions from 1895 to present, shows just how extreme conditions are. The current drought is as severe as the ones experienced in the 1930s and 1950s, and longer sustaining, leaving scientists and policy makers to wonder what this means for the future of life in drought-stricken regions.

Universities Save Millions of Gallons with Efficient Lab Equipment

Water shortage is not a problem that can be solved simply by not washing the car or showering on alternate days. Policy makers must look to water-intensive industrial activity, such as mining, energy production, construction, and manufacturing, to make a big impact.
What do we do when we run out of water? We innovate. Businesses are adapting by using energy and water-saving equipment. Priorclave is setting a new standard for efficient lab equipment in the US. Our research-grade autoclaves help labs operate in the black, keep important research on track, and use no more resources than strictly necessary.

[Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CC BY 2.0]

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