Water and Overpopulation

Southern drought dispute won't address the long-term issue, too many people fighting for a scarce resource.


Water wars date to the time of the pioneers in the West but are of more recent vintage in the East and, now, in the South. With a drought turning severe, three southern governors have been bickering and ventured to Washington, D.C., yesterday to try to sort things out.

But no matter how the chief executives of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida resolve their wrangle over access to water usage from two river basins—the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint—the unspeakable topic remains unspoken in water-rights discussions.

The unspeakable term is overpopulation. Unless and until states and the nation address the issue of human overpopulation, water's scarcity will increase. In fact, there's talk that if North America doesn't start getting some serious rain in regions that have suffered major droughts in recent years, water will be the new oil. If you're horrified at the prospect of $5-per-gallon gas, what are you going to think when your water bills quadruple and severe restrictions are put on water usage?