Change Coming To Water Politics - Twelve US States Face Extended Drought Conditions

The US Climate Prediction Center projects large areas of drought "Persist" conditions (graphically indicated in solid brown) in Hawaii, Southern California and Nevada, in South-Central Texas, and in seven southern US states, including the Lake Lanier watershed, which currently supplies metro-Atlanta with potable water (pictured below). California's long-term water future, in particular does not look good:

Public water agencies are only receiving 35% of their annual allocation from the State Water Project this year – the lowest level since the 1991 drought. And in coming years, deliveries will likely be less. According to the initial forecasts from the National Weather Service, the drought conditions in the state will likely to continue into next year.
Man, that's dry. Good thing there's no Enron-like scheme to sell water on a futures market. Via::MaximsNews Although Atlanta-area drought has not been in the national news lately (gasoline shortages in the US Southeast stole the headlines for the last two weeks) water levels in Atlanta's Lake Lanier have been unseasonably low for this, and the preceding, year (see graphic).

Monthly Lanier water level chart - through September, 2008 Via: Atlanta Water Shortage

It's true that a wet fall and winter could certainly turn things around for Atlanta area residents - rains received there over the last two days are promising. The combination of the financial crisis, regional gas scarcity caused by Hurricane Ike, bad traffic, and the threat of reduced water supplies have got to be making life feel pretty tenuous, though.

A Kind Of Change US Politicians Don't Want To Talk About
Considering the gravity of the situation - drought conditions persisting for such a large portion of the US populace, touching 12 states in a major way - it is amazing that water resources management is not a subject of debate in the US presidential campaign.

Change is coming alright. Sustainability is readying it's debut for a future campaign.

A Sampling Of Previous TreeHugger Drought Coverage - Atlanta Area
Drought Around The World: Atlanta In Perspective
Two Remaining Pieces To The Atlanta Drought Puzzle
Why One Suburban Atlanta County Has No Drought Problem
Water Running Out in Atlanta
Biggest Single Water User In Atlanta Is Gatorade Plant
Graphic Of The Day: Monthly Average Water Levels, Lake Lanier ...
The Rains Came To Atlanta This Spring: Lake Lanier Slowly Fills ...
Atlanta Collar Counties Getting Serious On Water Use
Red Cross To Georgia: 'Be Ready For Drought Emergency With 5 Cases ...
Southeast & Mid-Atlantic US Drought Update
Suburban Atlanta Man Dissolves Into Press Release

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