The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
What City Will Run Out of Water First?
Photo credit: Shutterstock
That's led experts to investigate what major world city could be the first to run out of water entirely. And it could be a city right here in the U.S.
A study done at the Environmental Hydrology Laboratory at the University of Florida ranks the 225 American cities with populations greater than 100,000 on fresh water availability and vulnerability. And while many of the most vulnerable cities are in the southwest, as one might expect with drought conditions sweeping California and Texas, there are some surprises.
The study rates ten cities as having a high level of vulnerability. San Antonio, with a metro area population of just under 2.3 million, comes in at 225. But it's followed by Miami, Florida, at 224 the second most vulnerable city. The largest metropolitan area threatened is Los Angeles, ranked 220 in terms of water security.
The other U.S. cities bringing up the rear are Lincoln, NE (223), San Jose, CA (222), San Diego, CA (221), Salt Lake City, UT (219), Riverside/San Bernadino, CA (218), Mission Viejo, CA (217) and El Paso, TX/NM (216). Other areas with a population of more than a million that face lesser but still high threats of water depletion are New York, Chicago, Cleveland, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
"High-ranking cities tend to be adjacent to very large lakes, such as the Great Lakes, and large rivers, such as the Mississippi or Columbia," says the study.
"For example, the highest-availability city (Duluth, MN) is the only U.S. city on Lake Superior, the third-largest freshwater body in the world (by volume). The other Great Lakes have smaller volumes and are shared by more (and larger) cities. Low-ranking cities are often found in arid regions (for example Los Angeles and Las Vegas), have low storage per capita (for example Miami and Atlanta) or share sources with multiple other cities (for example Chicago and Tallahassee)."
Worldwide, Environmental Defense Fund Business reports that experts predict Sana'a, Yemen, with a population of nearly two million, could be the first capital city to run out of water in slightly more than a decade. Other large metro areas such as Istanbul (population more than 14 million) also face threats of running out of water in that time period, just as the populations of developing countries are increasingly urbanized.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Return of a Relative: Tribal Communities in the Northern Great Plains Rally Around Bison Restoration
By Clay Bolt
On Oct. 11 people around the world celebrated the release of four plains bison onto a snow-covered butte in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.
The climate crisis has put at least 945 designated toxic waste sites at severe risk of disaster from escalating wildfires, floods, rising seas and other climate-related disasters, according to a new study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), as the AP reported.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
For one year Rob Greenfield grew and foraged all of his own food. No grocery stores, no restaurants, no going to a bar for a drink, not even medicines from the pharmacy.