ater is ne tse tings tat peple usually tae r granted—until it is ei-ter gne r unsuitable t drin. In 2007, residents in te suteastern UnitedStates were rced t tae ntice water wen extree drugt swept acrsste regin. Wit n rain cluds n te rizn r nts n end, lawns weresriveling and lng-standing reservirs were being suced dry. Restaurants be-gan using paper plates t avid aving t was dises. In Atens, Gergia, ans at te University Gergia’s ecing tball gae were ased nt t us te tilets: stadiu attendants wereeven ired t derate using in a desperate ert t save water. It was te suteast’s st extreedrugt n recrd.Water is a liited resurce, te deands r wic are ast increasing. Ppulatins in se U.S. cities,lie Las Vegas, Nevada, and Penix, Arizna, r instance, are expanding at a rate tusands pernt. Te result is tat water anagers ust struggle t eep taps wing witut cprising watersupplies r uture generatins.In te United States, a virtual ary peple—utility wrers, scientists and engineers, gvernent fcials,and any ters—wr arund te clc t prvide sae and clean drining water t Aerica’s es andbusinesses. Teir erts aect any aspects sciety, r te ealt individuals and ecsystes t teealt te natin’s ecny.Drugts bring increased edia attentin t water issues, but extree cnditins are nly a sallpart te prbles water anagers encunter in teir wr. Even te dern water systes de-velped natins ace suc callenges as ceical cntainatin, waterbrne diseases, supplysrtages, and deterirating, utdated inrastructures.Tis blet prvides an intrductin t drining water issues. It draws r abdy independent, peer-reviewed expert cnsensus reprts r te Na-tinal Researc Cuncil t prvide an verview public water supplyand deand, water anageent and cnservatin, ptins r tegvernent and te private sectr, and te ecnic and eclgi-cal aspects drining water. Te blet cuses priarily nissues in te United States; reerences t internatinal waterissues are generally used r cparisn purpses r tillustrate certain issues in greater dept.
Te Grand Cee Dam n te Cmba Rer n Wasngtn State.
Image courtesy o the U.S. Department o the Interior.