Study Finds Increased Risk of Water Shortages in Hundreds of US Counties

According to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, more than 1 in 3 counties in the United States could face a "high" or "extreme" risk of water shortages due to climate change by the middle of the 21st century. The report concluded that 7 in 10 of the more than 3,100 U.S. counties could face "some" risk of shortages of fresh water for drinking, farming, and other uses. Population growth is expected to increase the demand for water for municipal use and for electricity generation beyond existing levels. Global climate change threatens to reduce water supplies due to decreased rainfall and other factors compared to levels in the 20th century. The study concluded there is an "extreme" risk of water shortages that may develop in 412 counties in southern and southwestern states and in the southern Great Plains states.