Magazine article The Christian Century

Parched

Magazine article The Christian Century

Parched

Article excerpt

WE USUALLY DON'T think about water unless we're thirsty, or unless we're enduring a flood or a drought. Water has been very much on the minds of people in Georgia and other southeastern states, which have experienced the worst drought in a hundred years. Without significant rain, the water supply for Atlanta (Lake Lanier) could run out in the next three to nine months. Georgia governor Sonny Perdue hosted a prayer service at the state capitol in November to petition God to send rain.

The Southeast is not the only area worried about water. Water tables all over the country have been dropping. Population growth over the past 50 years has been mostly in the South and the Southwest, some of the driest parts of the country, where water supplies have long been a concern. There has been a precipitous drop in the flow of water in the Colorado River, which brings water to about 30 million people in seven different states. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which provides water for much of northern California, is at its lowest level in 20 years.

The quest for water is likely to be the source of major conflicts--international and domestic--in the 21st century the way the quest for oil was in the 20th century. …

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