Amid a tidal wave of bad news – from inflation and the war in Ukraine to climate change and divisive politics – there is one story that might trump all others in importance, and yet it receives the least sustained global attention: water.
We hear about water troubles, episodically. In between those times, we turn it on and turn it off. But pause and think: After Hurricane Ian, we watched in horror as homes and possessions floated down flooded streets in Florida, where flesh-eating bacteria is now in the waterways.
In Puerto Rico, where the effects of Hurricane Ian are still being felt in downed power lines and displaced residents, citizens worry that they will be forgotten as the news moves on.
Periodically, our newscasts show firefighters in California evacuating people from their homes and trying to put out massive blazes with limited supplies, fighting climate change and heat. Keep those images in your mind.
Fifty-five percent of the lower 48 states are in a period of drought, according to government data for October 2022.
Water conservation policies are in effect in many parts of the country to reduce water usage by prohibiting or limiting the watering of lawns.