Originally published May 23 2014
Water scarcity makes American West poor choice for strategic relocation
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Global instability and political turmoil in the United States could make it more likely that someday in the near future you may have to flee your city or suburban community for a safer, less-conspicuous location. But if you're planning on heading west, you probably ought to rethink that decision: Widespread drought in California, Texas and elsewhere will only create new tensions, as competition for water becomes intense.
Michael Snyder, writing for the website End of the American Dream, states an obvious truth: You cannot live long without fresh water. Nevertheless, "a lot of people that are 'strategically relocating' to another part of the United States are not taking the availability of fresh water seriously when making the decision about where to move."
Further, he points out:
If you live in an area that receives very little precipitation and that is not close to a consistent source of fresh water, what would you do if something happened and the water got shut off? Without water, you cannot grow food, you cannot cook, you cannot wash your clothes, you cannot take a bath and you cannot even use the toilet. The most basic things that we do in life are totally dependent on the availability of fresh water. So why are so many "preppers" considering moving to some of the driest areas of the entire country?
Towns all throughout the West and Southwest resorting to desperate measures
How bad is the situation getting? Well, in recent weeks some parts of Texas and California have received a little rain, but for much of the West, rainfall has been sparse-to-none:
-- In one northern Arizona town, Williams, residents are being fined if they wash their cars with potable water, The Associated Press (AP) reports. In addition, restaurants are no longer automatically serving patrons a customary glass of water when they are seated. In order to fill swimming pools, businesses are hauling water from outside of town. Meanwhile, new building permits have been put on hold because there isn't enough water to accommodate the growth.
-- In neighboring New Mexico, towns there have also seen water tables shrink. Already arid, some towns, like Magdalena last year, have had to resort to bottled water after local wells ran dry.
-- In El Paso, Texas, city officials enacted an ordinance prohibiting residents from watering lawns on Mondays.
-- Also in El Paso, and elsewhere in Texas -- especially West Texas -- towns have resorted to reusing wastewater as a way to supplement low water tables.
-- According to a new drought report from the Texas Water Development Board, over two-thirds of the Lone Star State are now experiencing "moderate" or "worse" drought conditions. Emergency preparations are already being considered, including ocean water desalination efforts.
'It doesn't make sense'
Drought is expensive, too, on consumers: AP reports that consumers in Williams could see water bills climb 150 to 200 percent for water use over 13,000 gallons per month. And the penalty for using potable water outside for anything other than public health will get residents a $100 fine.
"We don't have enough water to waste it," said Payson, Arizona, Mayor Kenny Evans, president of the Northern Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.
Snyder said that some residents in Nevada were actually paying people to remove their grassy lawns.
"Over in California, the multi-year drought just continues to get even worse," he wrote. "In fact, the Climate Prediction Center says that the drought in California is likely to intensify throughout this upcoming summer. As a result, we could soon witness an unprecedented water emergency in the state."
He goes on to say that, in northern California, some small communities are in danger of running out of water altogether.
"So why would anyone that wants to become independent of the system actually move to those areas?" he asks rhetorically. "It doesn't make sense."
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