Freshwater is the ultimate renewable resource, but humanity is extracting and polluting it faster than it can be replenished. Rampant economic growth — more homes, more businesses, more water-intensive products and processes, a rising standard of living — has simply outstripped the ready supply, especially in historically dry regions. Compounding the problem, the hydrologic cycle is growing less predictable as climate change alters established temperature patterns around the globe.
The data already shows the era of easy water is ending. Even economically advanced regions face unavoidable pressures — on their industrial output, the quality of life in their cities, their food supply. Wired visited three such areas: the American Southwest, southeastern England, and southeastern Australia. The difficulties these places face today are harbingers of the dawning era of peak water, and their struggles to find solutions offer a glimpse of the challenge ahead.
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Source : Wired