Monday, January 9, 2012

Avoiding a "Mega Drought"

In the last decade, Australia experienced a period of extreme dryness. For its residents, this meant increased fires and dust storms, and thousands of farming families unable to make a living. Though this drought ended in 2010, we have not seen the end of this kind of weather. According to an article in this month's issue of Scientific American titled "The Coming Mega Drought," the southwestern United States could be headed in the same direction. Its climate changes and straining water supply issues are similar to that of Australia prior to its Millennium Drought.

While the Millenium Drought had devastating effects, it woke the country to the need for effective water conservation strategies as well as the dangers of climate change. Scientific American reports that between 2002 and 2008, per capita urban water use in Australia decreased by 37 percent, thanks to increased water research, funding, and conservation policies. With Australia as a model, the United States could potentially lessen or even avoid this kind of disaster.

For more information,
The Water Library is currently featuring a book display about water conservation. Check these titles out!