ESTIMATEDUSE OF WATER IN THE UNITED STATES
Itis evident that the domestic use of water in the United States in2005 has seen an increase due to the increasing increase inpopulation and industrialization. The US population doubled between1950 and 2005 coupled with a flux from rural to urban areas (Barberet al., 2009). In order to respond to the apparent increase indemands for water and the limited water supplies, the US through itsvarious States, sought to institute extra water sources or othermeasures to conserve the otherwise seeming limited water supply fordomestic and other sectors such as irrigation (Barber et al., 2009).In the past, water for domestic use was relatively lower because thepopulation was smaller. However, in the current state, the populationin the US has since increased and that has called for more demand forwater for domestic use among other uses. Water withdrawals have alsoincreased over time in the sense that more water is being used forfishing purposes (Barber et al., 2009).
Thefuture water use for domestic purposes is no doubt bound to increaseowing to the continually increasing population and urbanization. Inother words, the future will see the development of more stringentmeasures for water conservation since there will be more peopledemanding for water for their domestic use such as drinking, washing,bathing, among other uses (Barber et al., 2009). Future projectionsof withdrawals of fresh water for domestic and public use largelyrely on the anticipated growth in population, particularly in thePacific Coast States as well as assumptions concerning how the percapita withdrawals of water could shift in the future (Barber et al.,2009). In projecting the withdrawals of fresh water for both domesticand public uses are often estimated through the following equation:
Freshwaterwithdrawals for domestic = Population x Average per capita
andpublic use freshwater withdrawals
Theprojections have largely been pegged on the projected populationgrowth in most states in the US. Nevertheless, based on thevariations in the per capita creates some level of uncertainty withregard to the future trends (Barber et al., 2009).
Implicationsfor Food and Water Availability
Basedon the projections it is apparent that the availability of water maybe a real problem in the US given the increasing demand for water andthe changing socio-economic factors regarding domestic water use. Inaddition, food production is likely to experience a shortage sincefood production highly depends on water through irrigation andaquaculture (Brown, 1999). States with the largest populations suchas Illinois, California, Texas, Florida, and New York are likely toexperience water shortages because the population will only increase,thus an increase in demands for domestic water use. This call for newmeasures that would conserve water alongside recycling strategiesthat would help retains water in the system (Tidwell et al., 2014).
Implicationsfor Health and Individuals in the Community
Wateris often closely related with public health and food security. Inother words, scarcity of water in the United States would mean thatthere would be a risk of poor health among the populace and also leadto food insecurity among the larger American population. Healthcaredepends on water in doing many things, thus lack of it results inexposure to germs and disease-causing organisms (Brown, 1999).Healthcare in the American community where there is lack of waterwould only expose the population to inherent dangers of suffering newinfections or acquisition of waterborne diseases (Tidwell et al.,2014). Lack of water would lead to the development of filth, thusforming a breeding ground for disease-causing factors. Human healthis likely to be affected by lack of freshwater stemming frommunicipal water contamination to water bodies’ pollution fromrecreational activities and fishing (Tidwell et al., 2014).
Changesto avoid Future Water Shortages
TheUS has vast water resources however, they are not perpetual.Therefore, there is the need for protecting and conserving the waterresources in order to avoid the likely future shortages. According tothe recent Natural Resource Defense Council report in 2014, 70% ofthe counties in the United States could face shortages of water by2050 due to the changes in the climate, economic growth, andpopulation increase (Tidwell et al., 2014). To ideally conservewater, everything else needs to be conserved as well stemming fromthe foods eaten to clothes bought to the energy used in powering thehomes people live in. In essence, it is about changing the way thewater, energy, and wastewater systems work, and also altering the waypeople think about consumption and water use daily (Tidwell et al.,2014). One change that can also aid in avoiding water shortage infuture is using the desalinization technology, which is described asa means through which salty water is filtered via the membranes andusing electrodialysis as well as reverse osmosis (Tidwell et al.,2014). An increased number of desalinizing plants on top of the 1,200existing plants in the United States can prompt an increase in theamount of water desalinized for future use, thus reducing thepossible shortage of water for use. In addition, championing for aglobal implementation of simple filtration and recycling systemswould also divert the impending shortage (Tidwell et al., 2014).
Barber,N. L., Hutson, S. S., Linsey, K. S., Lovelace, J. K., & Maupin,M. A. (2009). Estimateduse of water in the United States in 2005 (p.52). Reston, VA: US Geological Survey.
Brown,T.C. (1999). Past and future freshwater use in the United States: Atechnical document supporting the 2000 USDA Forest Service RPAAssessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S.Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain ResearchStation, 47 p.
Tidwell,V. C., Moreland, B. D., Zemlick, K. M., Roberts, B. L., Passell, H.D., Jensen, D., … & Larsen, S. (2014). Mapping wateravailability, projected use and cost in the western UnitedStates. EnvironmentalResearch Letters, 9(6),064009.