Anyone who pays attention to the weather and climate where they live can tell you that it has changed over periods of time. But beyond this, it has impacts on the world around us. The Environmental Protection Agency has an informational website that breaks down the geographical regions of the US and discusses the impacts and adaptations taking place as a result of our changing climate.
Most of the Southwest climate region is arid with relatively high temperatures. It has several mountain ranges as well as the Pacific Ocean, which influence climate and water resources in the region. The lack of rainfall and the prospect of future droughts becoming more severe is a significant concern, especially because the Southwest continues to lead the nation in population growth. The population growth in each state in this region exceeded the national average growth rate between 2000 and 2010. Several states, such as Nevada (35.1%), Arizona (24.6%), and Utah (23.8%) experienced population growth rates more than double the national average of 9.7%.
According to the EPA’s website, the climate of the Southwest is changing. Over the last century, the average annual temperature has increased about 1.5°F. Average annual temperature is projected to rise an additional 2.5-8°F by the end of the century.Warming in the Southwest is projected to be greatest in the summer. Future warming is projected to produce more severe droughts in the region, with further reductions in water supplies. Future water scarcity will be compounded by the region’s rapid population growth, which is the highest in the nation.
Water allocations in the region, some of which were agreed upon almost a century ago, have become difficult to meet. Meanwhile, groundwater pumping is already lowering water tables. Future climate change is projected to worsen these conditions. With limited drinking water in the future (and even now), it is important for consumers to consider their options, not just when they have to, but to help be environmentally-responsible and do their part to conserve water now. Consider a drinking water system like reverse osmosis that wastes less water than traditional reverse osmosis systems. Water coolers are also a responsible choice for safe drinking water not only because it is healthy for your family, but because you will conserve the water for future generations. Our drinking water systems and water coolers work to conserve water while never letting your family be without something so precious.