Photo credit: Trevor D.
In just a few short decades, we have depleted our water supply. In the eastern states, which once had an abundance of water, bitter disputes and legal battles have become commonplace over water shortages caused by overappropriation. In the western states, where water has always been in short supply, population growth in dry areas has led to water shortages that threaten to severely restrict or perhaps even bar further growth.
It could well be that burgeoning western cities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, San Diego, and even Los Angeles and San Francisco may begin to experience population declines when what is now a search for new sources of water becomes an absolute lack. And predicted shortages of water in California's Central Valley, combined with the current water depletion in the High Plains, could bring to a halt in the productivity in two of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States."
—Ken Midkiff, Not a Drop to Drink: America's Water Crisis (And What You Can Do) (2007, New World Library)