Shortages in water, food, and energy comprise one of four “megatrends” that U.S. government intelligence analysts said would cause radical economic and political changes in the next 18 years. The other trends, Bloomberg reported, include the United States’ fade from dominance, the rising power of individuals over the state, and a booming middle class.
U.S. Infrastructure Challenges
A Bureau of Reclamation report proposed a 600-mile pipeline to link the Missouri River to Denver — an extreme measure to help mitigate the region’s water challenges, The New York Times reported. The report, leaked this week, also proposed dozens of other more traditional measures to replenish the Colorado River, which is straining to hydrate seven states and approximately 25 million people, including conservation and supply boosts through reuse or desalination.
While a 200-mile Mississippi River closure was expected this week, USA Today reported, the water-level decrease might not halt barge traffic completely until January. Roughly $US 7 billion in commodities could freeze if Mississippi River levels continue to drop.
This week, a California state agency will begin to sell the bonds needed to finance a major desalination plant, Forbes reported. The facility, scheduled for completion in 2016, would be the largest in the Western hemisphere.
is a Washington, D.C–based correspondent for Circle of Blue. He graduated from DePauw University as a Media Fellow with a B.A. in Conflict Studies. He co-writes The Stream, a daily summary of global water news.