Water Crisis: Who Is To Blame?

In David Owen’s article “Where the Water Goes” adapted from his book, he tells a story about himself and relates it to a bigger issue. Owen explains how he used to work with a grounds crew taking care of lawns and maintenance. Every day he and his co-workers would spray water aimlessly all day long just to keep the grass green. What Owen did not think about, was where was this water coming from? In developed countries such as the United States it is easy to go on every day and without understanding how the water coming out of your sink or shower got there. By telling this story, Owen places some blame on himself for not thinking about his impact and the water he was using. There is limited supply of freshwater on earth and changes need to happen. In the article Owen also questions the water usage of certain states. My question is who should be blamed for the water crisis we are facing today?

I believe that the government should be held responsible for the water supply problems in The United States. For the most part water is regulated and supplied by the government. Due to this, I think that it is necessary that the government impliment sustainable practices in order to protect our water supply. The United States has the facilities and resources to understand the impacts of overusing water. Furthermore, the government’s job is to inform the citizens of such a large issue as running out of water. I do not think that certain states who use more water are to blame for water scarcity and over use. It is the governments job to allocate and protect natural resources that are not owned by anyone in particular. Owen quotes Patricia Mulroy who says “What happens in Denver matters in L.A. What happens in Phoenix matters in Salt Lake. It’s a web, and if you cut one strand the whole thing begins to unravel. If you think there can be a winner in something like that, you are nuts. Either we all win, or we all lose. And we certainly don’t have time to go to court.” As Mulroy explains, I think that is important to look at the bigger picture of the water crisis and the government should have been doing that much earlier.

12 thoughts on “Water Crisis: Who Is To Blame?

  1. I fully agree with you that the government should be informing the citizens on the effects of the water crisis. There are several Americans that have no idea to what their water usage is causing. Americans use twice the global average in water (Water Footprint Calculator, 1). This is a fact I was unaware of until I did further research. There are several organizations around the United States that attempt to promote the water issues we face like the US Water Alliance, UNICEF, and Clean Water Fund. Their continued support with the use of new technologies has led water use to drop in the last 20 years. However, there is always room for more conservation and protection because our water resources will not last forever.

    Government intervention can be impactful, as they have the biggest platform in all of the United States. While I do acknowledge that something is to be done, I do not think strict regulations in all states may be required just yet. I came to this conclusion after considering that not every state is the same in their water usage or issues. Some have more complex problems, like the droughts in California, while others do not. Maybe better allocation of water resources to each state would be more beneficial. This would supply more resources to states that need it most. I still believe that education for the people is the most crucial step in continuing to decrease water usage. The more Americans know about their water usage effects, the more they may willing to use less of it. This is the primary act the government should take.

  2. I completely agree with the points that you make in your post. I think it is important to realize what a huge issue the water crisis is currently and the potential that it holds to become even more of a problem. However, I don’t think the question should really be who is responsible, but rather how can we fix the problem. At the end of the day, there are some people who are going to be willing to make changes for the better and others who choose to ignore it. Therefore, as a society, I think we should figure out the most effective ways to create change as the population of people that actually want to help. While I agree that the government has a responsibility and the most power to fix this problem, it would be difficult for them to be willing to make all the changes we would ultimately be asking for. There are continuously more important and pressing issues in the eyes of the government, seeing as they’ve already allowed the water crisis to become what it is.
    On the other hand, your post also made me wonder if there is really even a point to fight against this water crisis. The reality is that eventually the human race will die off as a result of the lack of resources on Earth over time. So, is there really a point in fighting the demise of Earth if human life on Earth will become unsustainable at one point or another in the future. My friend’s precept class is all about how the human species is not exempt from the laws of evolution and extinction. Their class analyzed if we humans should fight against the extinction of species and the depletion of natural resources at all. Your post made me think back to this because the process of fighting the water crisis is so costly and time consuming, I wondered how effective this fight would actually be in the long run.

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