Water Issues Dividing and Challenging the U.S.

U.S. Water Issues Dividing and Challenging the Country like never beforeWith floods across the Midwest, droughts along the Southwest, and legal inter-state skirmishes in the West and South—water issues are dividing the United States and challenging its citizens like never before. As first reported by Circle of Blue in July 2008, increasing competition for diminishing water supplies is driving the United States into an era of water scarcity.

Forecasts suggest that climate change will only worsen the challenges of obtaining and maintaining enough freshwater for the country’s needs. Fortunately, scientists are providing new tools to figure out how quickly our liquid assets are being depleted, and developing models that make better use of the water we have.

Follow Circle of Blue’s continuing coverage of water scarcity and management challenges — and solutions — as the United States grapples with one of the most complex, yet universal struggles of the century.

Water Scarcity and Inter-State Water Battles

America’s Water Supply: Scarcity Becoming Endemic
Public Awareness Reflects Troubles With Access, Supply
Americans have good reason to be concerned about the future of the nation’s supply of clean fresh water, according to state and federal research and resource agencies. Read more…

Georgia and Tennessee: 200 Years of a Tennessee River Toss-up
In February 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill to move the Georgia-Tennessee border one mile north—the fourth attempt since the line was established in 1818. The latitudinal change would mean a portion of the Tennessee River would be included within Georgia’s boundary—Read more…

Alabama, Florida and Georgia: A Tri-State Tug-of-War for Lake Lanier
A federal judge forces Alabama, Florida and Georgia to settle 20-year old disputes on shared Lake Lanier, while Congress solidifies the order with a US Army Corps of Engineers water study request. Read more…

Nevada and Utah: Desert Aquifer Dispute in Snake Valley
A highly disputed bill sits on the desk of Utah Governor Gary Herbert that would allow the construction of a 300-mile pipeline to pump 16 billion gallons of groundwater from the Snake Valley aquifer to as many as 120,000 households in the growing desert metropolis of Las Vegas, Nevada. Read more…

North vs. South: Carolinas in Supreme Court Battle for Catawba River
The Supreme Court battle between the Carolinas over the Catawba River, used by more than 30 cities and 17 counties for industry and drinking has been postponed. Its been two years since South Carolina filed a federal lawsuit against its sister state. Read more…

Mississippi vs. Tennessee: Billion-dollar Supreme Court Question, “Is Memphis Stealing Water?”
The Supreme Court will decide if Memphis, Tennessee has been stealing Mississippi’s groundwater since 1985 and, if guilty, the state would have to pay $1 billion in damages.Read more…

Water Tops Climate Change as Global Priority: a comprehensive public opinion survey on attitudes about fresh water sustainability, management and conservation finds that people around the world view water issues as the planet’s top environmental problem. Learn more…

Steve Kellman is a Circle of Blue writer and reporter. Andrea Faye Hart is a Circle of Blue assistant news editor and writer. Aubrey Ann Parker is a Circle of Blue writer and data analyst. Reach all three at circleofblue.org/contact.

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5 replies
  1. Donna Hoffman says:

    Not only Americans should read but all. I guess people must not dispute. It really will divide them. People should work together to address the problem and things will be better. Disputes will only cause more trouble since time and money will be wasted on this. why not put these money together to makes things better for both. Dispute would only make the other better and the other miserable. Could someone really feel better while you know that the dispute made the others life more complicated and miserable? why not just meet halfway? I guess…

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