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Water Scarcity

Water Scarcity in the United States

Alexi Sayson

English 910.3

Professor Turner

October 24,2016

Water Scarcity in the United States

Water Scarcity

According to the U.S. Geological Survey 1.7 trillion gallons of water is lost every year due to

main breaks and other leaks. This is enough water to provide the United States top 10 cities with

clean water for a year. The federal government estimates that the water lost from water main

breaks is worth about $2.6 billion annually. ( Columbia Water Center). There are many reasons

why the United States is losing so much water but this is the main reason. The pipes are old and

broken but it costs too much to fix every single pipe. The United States is going through a water

crisis and leaking pipes are the main reason why we are having that problem.

The Two Sources we get our Water from

We get our water from two main sources. The two sources are groundwater and surface water.

Ground water can be taken from aquifers. An aquifer is a body of permeable rock that contains or

transmits groundwater. The second source of water is surface water. Examples of surface water

are lakes and rivers. There are three sectors that use the water we get from these sources. These

are agriculture, industry, and residential. The number one sector that uses the fresh water is

Agriculture. According to Christiana Peppard (2016), agriculture uses 70% of all our fresh water,

industry uses 22% and residential only uses 8% of the fresh water we get. (Peppard)

Water Scarcity in the United States

At this moment many states in the United States is going through a water crisis or scarcity.

Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet water needs within a

region. So that means that the United States s running out of water for our everyday needs. One

problem that comes with this is that not many people in America are getting this information and

are not doing anything to fix this.

Population Growth
Water Scarcity

The United States population has grown about 99% since 1950 and that came with a 127%

increase in water use. (Grace Wyler). According to Wyler, 48% of the states in the United States

are experiencing moderate to exceptional drought. This is almost half of the United States

going through droughts and are losing the fresh water that they use everyday. And many

Americans dont have any idea that this is happening and also if the state they live in is is that


Why we are having a Water Crisis in America

One reason why we are having water scarcity in the U.S. is because of our leaking

infrastructure. There are many gallons of water lost in many different cities around the country.

In the article , L.As aging water pipes; a $1- billion dilemma by Ben Poston and Matt Stevens, it

gives examples of Los Angeles and Chicago and how they are losing water because of leaky

pipes. L.A. is losing 8 billion gallons of water a year due to leaky pipes. ( Ben Poston and Matt

Stevens). And according to Schaper Chicago is losing about 22 billion gallons of water per year

because of leaky pipes.

Leaky Infrastructure

There are many reasons why the pipes are leaking including; the age of the pipes, rust, and the

weather. Most pipes in the United States are almost 100 years old. For example, in Schapers

article he writes that in Los Angeles a water main estimated to be 93 years old broke and caused

severe flooding on UCLAs main campus. One reason why the pipes are breaking is the rust that

forms around the pipes. The rust makes the pipe brittle and easily breakable. Another reason is

the weather weve been having. Schaper informs us that, Last winters extremely bitter cold in

the Midwest and Northeast was especially tough on the aging infrastructure in those parts of the
Water Scarcity

country. But water main breaks are becoming common in the hot summer months now.


Why havent we Fixed those Pipes

There is one reason why we havent fixed these pipes yet. Fixing and changing these pipes

would cost us all an arm and a leg. In Schapers article he says that, the federal government

estimates that the water lost just from main breaks is worth about $2.6 billion annually. The EPA

has estimated that approximately $1 trillion will be needed to fix the water infrastructures in the

next 20 years.We are currently falling short by about $19 billion per year. (Columbia Water

Center). Pipe repair in many states cost up to almost $900,000.

The DWPs Plan to Fix the Pipes

Now the question of when and how to fix the pipes are in the works but not a lot of action is

happening. Poston and Stevens (2015) informs us that the DWP has a plan to replace 435 miles

of deteriorating water mains in the next 10 years. DWP would need more than double the number

of pipe miles it replaces annually and more than triple the average amount it spends on pipes to

replace each other. (Poston and Stevens).

America is currently having a water crisis. There are many reasons why we are having a water

crisis here and one of the main reasons is because we have leaky pipes and not enough money to

fix them all. In conclusion, America is having a water crisis and the main cause are our leaky

pipes . We need to figure out a way to stop the pipes from leaking and how to get the money to

make that happen.