30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The Planet

via The Economic Collapse

30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The PlanetThe world is rapidly running out of clean water. Some of the largest lakes and rivers on the globe are being depleted at a very frightening pace, and many of the most important underground aquifers that we depend on to irrigate our crops will soon be gone. At this point, approximately 40 percent of the entire population of the planet has little or no access to clean water, and it is being projected that by 2025 two-thirds of humanity will live in “water-stressed” areas. But most Americans are not too concerned about all of this because they assume that North America has more fresh water than anyone else does. And actually they would be right about that, but the truth is that even North America is rapidly running out of water and it is going to change all of our lives. Today, the most important underground water source in America, the Ogallala Aquifer, is rapidly running dry. The most important lake in the western United States, Lake Mead, is rapidly running dry. The most important river in the western United States, the Colorado River, is rapidly running dry. Putting our heads in the sand and pretending that we are not on the verge of an absolutely horrific water crisis is not going to make it go away. Without water, you cannot grow crops, you cannot raise livestock and you cannot support modern cities. As this global water crisis gets worse, it is going to affect every single man, woman and child on the planet. I encourage you to keep reading and learn more.

The U.S. intelligence community understands what is happening. According to one shocking government report that was released last year, the global need for water will exceed the global supply of water by 40 percent by the year 2030…

This sobering message emerges from the first U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment of Global Water Security. The document predicts that by 2030 humanity’s “annual global water requirements” will exceed “current sustainable water supplies” by forty percent.

Oh, but our scientists will find a solution to our problems long before then, won’t they?

But what if they don’t?

Most Americans tend to think of a “water crisis” as something that happens in very dry places such as Africa or the Middle East, but the truth is that almost the entire western half of the United States is historically a very dry place. The western U.S. has been hit very hard by drought in recent years, and many communities are on the verge of having to make some very hard decisions. For example, just look at what is happening to Lake Mead. Scientists are projecting that Lake Mead has a 50 percent chance of running dry by the year 2025. If that happens, it will mean the end of Las Vegas as we know it. But the problems will not be limited just to Las Vegas. The truth is that if Lake Mead runs dry, it will be a major disaster for that entire region of the country. This was explained in a recent article by Alex Daley

Way before people run out of drinking water, something else happens: When Lake Mead falls below 1,050 feet, the Hoover Dam’s turbines shut down – less than four years from now, if the current trend holds – and in Vegas the lights start going out.

Ominously, these water woes are not confined to Las Vegas. Under contracts signed by President Obama in December 2011, Nevada gets only 23.37% of the electricity generated by the Hoover Dam. The other top recipients: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (28.53%); state of Arizona (18.95%); city of Los Angeles (15.42%); and Southern California Edison (5.54%).

You can always build more power plants, but you can’t build more rivers, and the mighty Colorado carries the lifeblood of the Southwest. It services the water needs of an area the size of France, in which live 40 million people. In its natural state, the river poured 15.7 million acre-feet of water into the Gulf of California each year. Today, twelve years of drought have reduced the flow to about 12 million acre-feet, and human demand siphons off every bit of it; at its mouth, the riverbed is nothing but dust.

Nor is the decline in the water supply important only to the citizens of Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. It’s critical to the whole country. The Colorado is the sole source of water for southeastern California’s Imperial Valley, which has been made into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the US despite receiving an average of three inches of rain per year.

Are you starting to get an idea of just how serious this all is?

But it is not just our lakes and our rivers that are going dry.

We are also depleting our groundwater at a very frightening pace as a recent Science Daily article discussed…

Three results of the new study are particularly striking: First, during the most recent drought in California’s Central Valley, from 2006 to 2009, farmers in the south depleted enough groundwater to fill the nation’s largest human-made reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas — a level of groundwater depletion that is unsustainable at current recharge rates.

Second, a third of the groundwater depletion in the High Plains occurs in just 4% of the land area. And third, the researchers project that if current trends continue some parts of the southern High Plains that currently support irrigated agriculture, mostly in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, will be unable to do so within a few decades.

In the United States we have massive underground aquifers that have allowed our nation to be the breadbasket of the world. But once the water from those aquifers is gone, it is gone for good. That is why what is happening to the Ogallala Aquifer is so alarming. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world, and U.S. farmers use water from it to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year. The Ogallala Aquifer covers more than 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota. Most Americans have never even heard of it, but it is absolutely crucial to our way of life. Sadly, it is being drained at a rate that is almost unimaginable.

The following are some facts about the Ogallala Aquifer and the growing water crisis that we are facing in the United States. A number of these facts were taken from one of my previous articles. I think that you will agree that many of these facts are quite alarming…

1. The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie” has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.

3. Decades ago, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is gone completely.

4. Scientists are warning that nothing can be done to stop the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer. The ominous words of David Brauer of the Ogallala Research Service should alarm us all…

“Our goal now is to engineer a soft landing. That’s all we can do.”

5. According to a recent National Geographic article, the average depletion rate of the Ogallala Aquifer is picking up speed….

Even more worrisome, the draining of the High Plains water account has picked up speed. The average annual depletion rate between 2000 and 2007 was more than twice that during the previous fifty years. The depletion is most severe in the southern portion of the aquifer, especially in Texas, where the water table beneath sizeable areas has dropped 100-150 feet; in smaller pockets, it has dropped more than 150 feet.

6. According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. interior west is now the driest that it has been in 500 years.

7. Wildfires have burned millions of acres of vegetation in the central part of the United States in recent years. For example, wildfires burned an astounding 3.6 million acres in the state of Texas alone during 2011. This helps set the stage for huge dust storms in the future.

8. Unfortunately, scientists tell us that it would be normal for extremely dry conditions to persist in parts of western North America for decades. The following is from an article in the Vancouver Sun

But University of Regina paleoclimatologist Jeannine-Marie St. Jacques says that decade-long drought is nowhere near as bad as it can get.

St. Jacques and her colleagues have been studying tree ring data and, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Vancouver over the weekend, she explained the reality of droughts.

“What we’re seeing in the climate records is these megadroughts, and they don’t last a decade—they last 20 years, 30 years, maybe 60 years, and they’ll be semi-continental in expanse,” she told the Regina Leader-Post by phone from Vancouver.

“So it’s like what we saw in the Dirty Thirties, but imagine the Dirty Thirties going on for 30 years. That’s what scares those of us who are in the community studying this data pool.”

9. Experts tell us that U.S. water bills are likely to soar in the coming years. It is being projected that repairing and expanding our decaying drinking water infrastructure will cost more than one trillion dollars over the next 25 years, and as a result our water bills will likely approximately triple over that time period.

10. Right now, the United States uses approximately 148 trillion gallons of fresh water a year, and there is no way that is sustainable in the long run.

11. According to a U.S. government report, 36 states are already facing water shortages or will be facing water shortages within the next few years.

12. Lake Mead supplies about 85 percent of the water to Las Vegas, and since 1998 the level of water in Lake Mead has dropped by about 5.6 trillion gallons.

13. It has been estimated that the state of California only has a 20 year supply of fresh water left.

14. It has been estimated that the state of New Mexico only has a 10 year supply of fresh water left.

15. Approximately 40 percent of all rivers in the United States and approximately 46 percent of all lakes in the United States have become so polluted that they are are no longer fit for human use.

The 1,450 mile long Colorado River is a good example of what we have done to our precious water supplies. It is probably the most important body of water in the southwestern United States, and it is rapidly dying.

The following is an excerpt from an outstanding article by Jonathan Waterman about how the once mighty Colorado River is rapidly drying up…

Fifty miles from the sea, 1.5 miles south of the Mexican border, I saw a river evaporate into a scum of phosphates and discarded water bottles. This dirty water sent me home with feet so badly infected that I couldn’t walk for a week. And a delta once renowned for its wildlife and wetlands is now all but part of the surrounding and parched Sonoran Desert. According to Mexican scientists whom I met with, the river has not flowed to the sea since 1998. If the Endangered Species Act had any teeth in Mexico, we might have a chance to save the giant sea bass (totoaba), clams, the Sea of Cortez shrimp fishery that depends upon freshwater returns, and dozens of bird species.

So let this stand as an open invitation to the former Secretary of the Interior and all water buffalos who insist upon telling us that there is no scarcity of water here or in the Mexican Delta. Leave the sprinklered green lawns outside the Aspen conferences, come with me, and I’ll show you a Colorado River running dry from its headwaters to the sea. It is polluted and compromised by industry and agriculture. It is overallocated, drought stricken, and soon to suffer greatly from population growth. If other leaders in our administration continue the whitewash, the scarcity of knowledge and lack of conservation measures will cripple a western civilization built upon water.

But of course North America is in far better shape when it comes to fresh water than the rest of the world is.

In fact, in many areas of the world today water has already become the most important issue.

The following are some incredible facts about the global water crisis that is getting even worse with each passing day…

1. Total global water use has quadrupled over the past 100 years, and it is now increasing faster than it ever has been before.

2. Today, there are 1.6 billion people that live in areas of the globe that are considered to be “water-stressed”, and it is being projected that two-thirds of the entire population of the globe will be experiencing “water-stressed” conditions by the year 2025.

3. According to USAID, one-third of the people on earth will be facing “severe” or “chronic” water shortages by the year 2025.

4. Once upon a time, the Aral Sea was the 4th largest freshwater lake in the entire world. At this point, it less than 10 percent the size that it used to be, and it is being projected that it will dry up completely by the year 2020.

5. If you can believe it, the flow of water along the Jordan River is down to only 2 percent of its historic rate.

6. It is being projected that the demand for water in China will exceed the supply by 25 percent by the year 2030.

7. According to the United Nations, the world is going to need at least 30 percent more fresh water by the year 2030.

8. Sadly, it is estimated that approximately 40 percent of the children living in Africa and India have had their growth stunted due to unclean water and malnutrition.

9. Of the 60 million people added to the cities of the world each year, the vast majority of them live in deeply impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

10. It has been estimated that 75 percent of all surface water in India has been heavily contaminated by human or agricultural waste.

11. Sadly, according to one UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.

12. Every 8 seconds, somewhere in the world a child dies from drinking dirty water.Lake Mead Is Drying Up

13. Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

14. Each year in northern China, the water table drops by an average of about one meter due to severe drought and overpumping, and the size of the desert increases by an area equivalent to the state of Rhode Island.

15. In China, 80 percent of the major rivers have become so horribly polluted that they do not support any aquatic life at all at this point.

So is there any hope that the coming global water crisis can be averted?

If not, what can we do to prepare?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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24 Responses to 30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The Planet

  1. Pingback: 30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The Planet « vineoflife.net

  2. First thanks for this interesting analysis of the water crisis in the US and worldwide. As a scientist working during about 30 years, I really know what is drought and what is climate change and water scarcity in my country (Tunisia) but also worldwide. I worked hard to elaborate new solutions to avoid or to reduce the impact of the water crisis especially on the food production. The 2 solutions are the “buried diffuser” and the “draining floater”. The buried diffuser allows producing the same yield with 66% less water then the surface or subsurface drip irrigation. It allows also, this is very important, injecting, storing and conserving the water in the deep soil layers. This injected water (if the soil has is equilibrated textured and 100 cm till 150 cm thick) could cover the need of the trees plantations during 3 completely successive dry years. For more informations on the 2 technologies visit the website http://www.chahtech.com or email to bchahbani@chahtech.com .


  3. Pingback: More on the Coming Water Crisis. | Land & Livestock International, Inc.

  4. Zack G says:

    Tremendously well written, albeit wholly depressing. Thank you for calling attention to what is probably the most serious and, somehow, most overlooked issue facing not only agriculture, but our continued existence on this planet…

    Here’s a working link to the PDF for that ICA Global Water Security study; the one you posted produces a 404

    Click to access ICA_Global%20Water%20Security.pdf


  5. Pingback: Global groundwater depth |

  6. L3ft 3y3 says:

    Industry makes up the overwhelming bulk of water usage.
    There’s enough water to drink, but not enough for industrial manufacturing or industrial farming.
    There’s your fix right there. Stop treating the planet as a ‘resource’ or we all die.
    Seems to be a recurring theme.


    • The “fix” is a free market. There is a large and growing group of young hard chargers out there known collectively as “environmental entrepreneurs.” Get the government out of the picture so their innovative spirit is not squashed and they will fix the problem.


      • lumenlight says:

        I’m not sure I agree that profiteers or as you call them, entrepreneurs, are any different than our useless government involvement. When we take money out of government and draw boundaries to profiting off of the backs of American’s, we might salvage our water for another century. And BTW, Fracking is expediting this disaster.


    • The difference is that entrepreneurs have to please consumers through voluntary exchange on the market. If they don’t they go bust and go away.

      On the other hand, government gains its revenue at the point of a gun. (It doesn’t have anything to give to anybody that it hasn’t previously taken from somebody else through violence or force (the threat of voilence). Therefore, they don’t care because they don’t have to.


  7. Richard says:

    Thanks to Stephan Harper we are heading straight toward China’s current situation of pollution and water stress. I predict China will own Canada by 2030 and most of our fresh water will be shipped overseas to support there survival.


  8. So the idea is that young entrepreneurs are going to make a profit by not exploiting natural resources? And that somehow not exploiting natural resources (in this case water) is going to be more profitable than exploiting those same resources? Is there a model anywhere in history where this has been shown to work? Leaving it to individuals with a profit motive is not going to solve a problem that requires massive collective action. My guess is that what we will get is the further privatization of water, which means that only those that can afford access to water get water. This is the groundwork for massive social unrest and upheaval as some people wither while other people thrive (more so and much more obviously than is already happening currently). None of love the government, but to pretend that the market that got us into this mess is somehow going to become more sane is pure folly.


    • No! None of those things are the idea at all. You are either an idiot, a communist, a blow hard that doesn’t have sense enough to google “environmental entrepreneurship” before shooting his mouth off or way behind the current develoments in environmental entrepreneurship.

      These should get you at least a start on completing you education:



      • I see you deleted my last comment. I’m really interested in how this would work from a market perspective. If you have insight into market mechanisms that would reduce the depletion of clean, potable water from aquifers and rivers I would really like to know what those are. This is going to be a crisis that affects every one of our lives (whether we live in those drought stricken areas or not), and I want to know every possible option for mitigating this coming disaster.


  9. I am about to violate one of our company web site policies by addressing “The New Mexican Revolution” and his, her or its persistence which I sense is really trolling. But, I want to give TNMR a chance to prove otherwise.

    First let me explain the policy and the reason for it: This is NOT a discussion forum. We are involved in some of those things in other places and have found them to be populated mostly by shallow minded people who have no real interest in learning anything but are really keen on spouting their, usually grossly misinformed, opinions. The likes of LinkedIn and Facebook have a purpose but can be a real time consuming trap and, especially if you are in the business of selling information (which we are), are very good ways to have your store stolen.

    Second, this blog is associated with a company (Land & Livestock International, Inc.) and its web site (http\\www.landandlivestockinternational.com). Our consulting and management services range from short-term consulting to turn-key whole ranch master planning and management for absentee owners. Practitioner training ranges from half-day introductory workshops to week-long courses to a 12-month comprehensive ranch and rangeland management course. In other words, our main line is the provision of information for a fee. We also lease land and custom graze livestock and are seeking investors who are interested in the investment potential of rural land and would like to be a part of an environmentally sound, sustainable and profitable ranch. But those activities are not conducted in a political vacuum and for good reason.

    We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner.

    In short: the company (via its officers, directors and shareholders) is pro private property rights and anti-government intervention. It is pro-free market and anti-Statistism-collectivism.

    Now hear this loud and clear: ANY POST OR REPLY TO A POST THAT AGRANDIZES STATISM-COLLECTIVISM IN ANY WAYWILL BE DELETED. Our little slice of cyber-space (this web site) is private property and considers statists-collectivists as trespassers and treats them accordingly.

    Now to the policy violation, which is to allow TNMR a chance to prove that he/she/it is not a troll:

    Explaining liberty to those who have never experienced it is an ominous task, especially when dealing with a dumbed down general public that has the attention span of a fruit fly. Not much can be explained with a ten second “sound bite” which is about all they are capable of comprehending.

    It has been accurately said that, if the American economy was (note past tense) the 7th Wonder of the World, then American economic ignorance is the 8th. I used to think I could “educate.” I was naive. After wasting countless and precious years, I finally realized I need to change my goal. I now only aspire to expose the clueless and the culpable. Now I am much more successful at goal achievement, much less frustrated and have much more time to devote to productive endeavors.

    All I can say is, if you are really interested in understanding how the world works (and the result of government intervention–which is ALWAYS unintended consequences), do what I did. Go to http:\\www.mises.org and spend about 10 years. Then come back and explain to us all how to reduce it to a ten second sound bite.

    Another good starting place is right here on this page. Look at the masthead at the top of the page and see the: “Institute for the Application of the Austrian Theory of Economics to Natural Resource and Environmental Management.” Click on the link and, if you take it seriously, you will find a very exhaustive annotated bibliography that explains these “market mechanisms.”


    For a more general (not specifically directed to natural resources) understanding of the political economy of liberty, go to:

    http://flyoverpress.wordpress.com/ and again look at the masthead and visit by clicking on:

    “Explaining Liberty” at http://flyoverpress.wordpress.com/about/
    “For a New Liberty” at http://flyoverpress.wordpress.com/for-a-new-liberty-the-libertarian-manifeso/
    “The Ethics of Liberty” at http://flyoverpress.wordpress.com/the-ethics-of-liberty/ and finally,
    “Anarcho-capitalist FAQ” at http://flyoverpress.wordpress.com/anarcho-capitalist-faq/

    So now, TNMR prove that you are NOT a troll by taking some responsibility for your own education. It has been handed to you on a silver platter (figuratively speaking, of course). Beyond that, you will have to do what everyone else does, pay for the consultancy–it is called a “market.”

    Complete your reading assignment then come back to us with your own explanation of “how this would work from a market perspective. I’ll give you a hint: GOVERNMENT IS PROVEN TO BE THE WORDS LARGEST SINGLE SOURCE OF POLLUTION. So what is the solution to pollution? Doing away with government would be an excellent place to start.


    • Charles says:

      The solution to pollution is dilution. Sorry Gunny, I couldn’t resist.

      Doc Borrego


      • lol Yes, we used to say that back in the seventies during the “heyday” of the doomsday “back to the earth” communist movement. Problem is that all of their predictions have turned out to be dead wrong.

        It is often said that, if the American economy is the 7th Wonder of the World, then American economic ignorance is the 8th. And this thread has proven that to be spot on.


  10. Monsantoisfakescience says:

    Overpopulation may very well be the central obstacle to our collective survival. Overpopulation is, of course, a taboo subject for many reasons. But with it, resources grow scarce.


  11. Ah yes, shadows of “Population, Resources and Envionment” by Paul Erhlich. I was in one of the government’s advanced propaganda camps (graduate school at a state supported university) when that book was published and I bit off a big chunk–really believed in my heart of hearts that the world would end by 1980.

    Problem is that it never happened. Folks like Rachael Carson and Paul Ehrlich were (and still are) dead wrong. Over the years I have seen one doomesday prediction after another turn out to be nothing more than government lies–scare tactics to keep all us mere mundanes clamoring for their protection.

    The only thing we need protection from is them. Think secession! Right down to the level of the indivvidual household.

    Yours for freedom in our lifetimes.

    jtl, 419

    PS. And remember, any argument that agrandizes the state in any way, goes into the spam bin. The debate is over and freedom won.


  12. Pingback: https://landandlivestock.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/30-facts-about-the-coming-water-crisis-that-will-change-the-lives-of-every-person-on-the-planet/ |

  13. Logan Wyatt says:

    Everyone, and I mean every soul in the world needs to pray for water. I don’t want a seven year flood, but I do want to be able to see my unborn children and their children and their children, grow up in a healthy and prosperous land full of life and abundance. I also want the rest of the world to have the same fortunes; Every life deserves the same quality of living. The movement that I am apart of is working to bring healthy drinking water to poverished parts of the world, and I want to see this project come full circle.

    What is the first plan of action?

    Logan Wyatt


    • First plan of action? Simple. The collectivists offer no solutions for anything. If we all do what we can to take care of our own little piece of the action and the overall scheme of things will take care of itself.

      What we do is a good example of what I am talking about. The style of rangeland management that we do (and teach other people to do) will drastically increase the water holding capacity of the soil. (Read more at http://www.landandlivestockinternational.com/)

      And the best part of the deal is that it can increase ranch cash flow by as much as 300%.

      Secure private property rights are critical.


  14. Scott Cuyjet says:

    We need to limit population growth and dependence on animals for food due to the amount of water bodies hold onto.


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