New Southeast Water Report Highlights Region’s Short Supply

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On Thursday, November 20th, 2008, National Wildlife Federation will hold a
telephone press conference moderated by scientists to announce the release of
its new report about water use and drought in the southeastern United States.

Since 1960, the region’s population doubled and water use
for municipalities, irrigation, and thermoelectric power more than tripled. The
Southeast is one of the fastest growing parts of the country—58 of the fastest
100 growing counties in the nation are in the nine states of the Southeast.

More Variable and Uncertain Water Supply: Global Warming’s
Wake-Up Call for the Southeastern U.S. will be
released following Thursday’s 10 a.m. Eastern press call. The new report
details how:

Water supply in the Southeastern United States will be more variable and uncertain in the coming decades;

Rapidly expanding population, irrigation, and thermoelectric power use
has increased water demand;

Recent droughts illustrate the Southeast’s vulnerability;

The astonishing biodiversity of the Southeast is also at risk; and

The Southeast should plan for increasing variability in water supply.

Strategies for meeting the increasing demand for water in
the region have not typically accounted for the regular occurrence of drought,
as illustrated by recent droughts. During 2007 alone, crop losses are estimated
at more than $1.3 billion and wildfire ravaged 600,000 acres in Georgia and Florida.

To connect the dots, expert and on-the-ground perspectives
will be provided on the latest scientific research on global warming and water
supply, competition for resources, demographic factors, and how to better
prepare for managing the Southeast’s water availability challenges.

Published: November 18, 2008