STUDY: Drought to Impact Major Cities

Demand to outstrip supply by 40 percent

May 18, 2013
Outside Magazine

Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and San Diego may be facing severe water shortages as climate change increase drought potential, a newly released study finds.

The Columbia University Water Center notes that population growth and increased future demand for water combined with climate change may severely stress the current water infrastructure.

“Projecting current trends, if you continue business as usual without any innovation, eventually you're going to get to a point where you're not going to have enough water to cover population demands,” Veolia Water Chief Sustainability Officer Edwin Pinero told Bloomberg News.

The report follows a Ernst & Young sustainability study in which 76 percent of corporate representatives chose water as a top resource risk. Over the next 17 years, global demand for freshwater is expected to outstrip supply by 40 percent while companies in northern India and China are already shutting down due to a lack of water in the region.