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Could fresh water become scarce in the U.S.?

April 22, 2013

America consumes more water per person than any other country. Worldwide consumption is up, too, prompting concerns for the future.

It's Earth Week and we're taking a good look around our planet. A good deal of it is covered by water, but most of it isn't the fresh water we need.

The U.S. likes – and most of us take for granted - ready access to fresh water. Americans use more water per person than citizens of any other country – 457,018 gallons per head per year.

The government estimates each American uses about 100 gallons daily, but only 8.5 percent is what we use at home for cooking, cleaning or bating. More than 40 percent is used to produce electrical power. 37 percent irrigates cropland.

While the world’s population has doubled in the last 40 years, its use of fresh water has quadrupled. Forty percent of countries could experience severe freshwater scarcity by 2020.

We have a special video today on water usage. Check it out, read “What Do Others Say?” for more perspective, then add to the discussion below. What do you think about America’s rate of water use? Are you worried about future supplies?