You are on page 1of 5

Date: 3-15-18

To: President of EPA


From: Blake Martin
Subject: Water Shortage
Reference: In response to water shortages
Action Required: Water Restrictions
Distribution List: Government Team

Water shortage has been a problem in the United States for the past decade, but it is a problem
that is getting worse every year. The public population is either expressing extreme apathy, or
they simply are not aware of the extreme conditions this country will eventually face. Freshwater
running out is real and it is happening. People will eventually have to rely on sparse,
contaminated sources of water.

Effects of water shortage

Prevalence
Food is consumed by everybody in the United States every single day. Water is the resource
responsible for growing crops and caring for livestock. There is no agriculture without water.70%
of the United States’ water is used for irrigation and agriculture. Water shortages directly
contribute to lower crop yields and farming output. Thus, world hunger will go up if the water
shortage issue is not taken more seriously.

Water is required for sanitation and treating health issues. Diseases that can come as a result of
this include: Malaria, Hookworm, Salmonella, Yellow Fever, and West Nile Virus. A scarcity of
water in general means there will definitely be a lack of clean water in many areas. This will
increase the spread of waterborne illnesses; There will be more consumption of contaminated
water which may lead to widespread outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. Sewage
systems will backup and become stagnant. The health of the world is of the utmost importance
because one epidemic could be the end of the human race. We need to fix the scarcity of water
or face a health issue never seen before.

In terms of economics, an ample supply of clean water is necessary for economic growth.
Business and buildings require clean water, so that they can run efficiently. Imagine a school or
mall that did not provide clean water or any water at all. It would shortly be abandoned, and
numerous people would complain. Manufacturing and industrial processes require water to
operate, albeit it may not have to be clean, there still is a need for thousands of gallons of water.
This is how products are made and energy is produced. The chair you may be sitting in right
now was produced in a factory that used water to make it. I think it is important to be mindful of
that fact. Economies depend on and thrive because of an abundance of water.

Environment

When there is a scarce amount of water in an any environment, whole ecosystems are
dramatically affected. Lack of water contributes to desertification which means all the plant life
will begin to die, so that animals that eat these plants will have to seek food elsewhere.
Predators will then have to look elsewhere for food because their food just wandered in search
of a more plentiful area. This leads to habitat loss and desertion of indigenous species.
Dramatic shrinkages in United States water pools has devastated the environment because
large ecosystems have been disrupted or completely destroyed. Animals are continuously going
extinct because they have no land to live in anymore. Water scarcity has devastated the
wetlands; there are said to be less than half the amount there were in 1990. Lands are
becoming drier and losing their capability to hold extensive amounts of self-sustaining life.

Cost

Due to the increasing scarcity of water, prices have already gone up and will continue to go up.
Most people have seen the price of bottled water go up in recent years, but the cost of water
bills in households throughout the United States have skyrocketed. In 14 million United States
homes, water bills are too expensive. the Environmental Protection Agency has advised that the
usage of water and disposal of wastewater should not cost a household more than 4.5% of its’
total income. This means that households that net below $50,000 annually are at the greatest
risk for paying for water in the future.

By 2020, it is estimated that about a third of Americans will be unable to pay their water bill.
That leaves out those above the $50,000 mark that will struggle to pay; This is unable to pay for
their bills at all. The government cannot simply shut off all of their water like what happened to
Detroit in 2014 when over 50,000 households could not afford their water bills. Chaos would
ensue. A better alternative needs to be instituted or better yet, a budgeting plan needs to be put
into place. No law exists that protects poor Americans right to water, yet we need water to
survive. Even then water prices will continue to rise because water infrastructure that has aged
needs to be replaced, and we are constantly responding to climate change. If nothing is done
there will be serious problems post-2020. People will not be able to cook, drink, or bathe due to
the absence of water in their homes.
What should be done about this issue:

1. Children and adults should be educated about how to manage water consumption in
their lifestyles. The various consumption methods of water will have to be changed in the
coming years, and the knowledge of how to alter these methods will have to spread.
Kids in school should be taught how exactly not to waste water, and what they can do as
young citizens to preserve water. This can be as simple as informing them not to leave
the water running while brushing teeth. Adults can be informed via the media how to
save water such as not leaving the water on whilst washing dishes.

2. New technology should be invented to conserve water or inventions that already exist
should be deployed more in the United States. Water bottles exist that slowly clean
contaminated water into an edible substance. There also exists machines that can
convert saltwater to freshwater. Some of these may be expensive, but cheap
alternatives already are out there. In addition to domestic use, there needs to be a way
for industries to save water or contaminate it less.

3. All wastewater should be recycled. Systems need to be in place that recycle water, so
that it may be used again. A big factor that wastes millions of gallons is Americans using
water in the shower. A system can be built within a household that recycles the water
used in the shower or reheats it so as to not waste water warming it up. Industrial
settings need systems in place that take mass amounts of water used for cleaning and
production and recycles them.

4. There needs to be restrictions on irrigation and agricultural practices so as to not waste


water. Despite us needing agriculture, these businesses are not exempt from wasting
water. Primitive immigration practices use too much water and need to be abolished.
Parameters should be in place that monitor water usage used by large firms and put
limits on how much can be used.

5. More energy efficient plants need to be developed that do not use water to generate
power in plants. Plants waste water by the gallon to produce energy and put lights on in
homes. More energy efficient energy production will benefit the water supply.

6. The corporate water footprint needs to be smaller since large corporations are wasting
water. he usage of water in industrial settings accounts for 22% of consumption.
Shrinking this will prolong water shortages for many years. This number needs to go
down with the aforementioned ideas.
7. Factories need to be self-sustaining.
References

“Causes, Effects and Solutions to Water Scarcity.” Earth Eclipse, 13 June 2016,
<www.eartheclipse.com/environment/causes-effects-and-solutions-to-water-
scarcity.html.>

Experts Name the Top 19 Solutions to the Global Freshwater Crisis. Circle of Blue, 21 Aug.
2017, <www.circleofblue.org/2010/world/experts-name-the-top-19-solutions-to-the-
global-freshwater-crisis/.>

Ferris, Sarah, and Peter Sullivan. “Clean Water Crisis Threatens US.” The Hill, 25 Apr. 2016,
<thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/277269-a-nation-over-troubled-water.>