24/7 Wall St. looked at an October, 2010 report on water risk by environmental research and sustainability group, Ceres. We also considered a comprehensive July, 2010 report from the National Resources Defense Council which mapped areas at high risk of water shortage conflict. 24/7 Wall St also did its own analysis of water supply and consumption in America’s largest cities, and focused on the thirty largest metropolitan areas. One goal was to identify potential conflicts in regions which might have disputed rights over large supplies of water and the battles that could arise from these disputes. And, 24/7 Wall St. examined geographic areas which have already been plagued by drought and water shortages off and on.
The analysis allowed us to choose ten cities which are likely to face severe shortages in the relatively near-term future. Some of these are likely to be obvious to the reader. The area around Los Angeles was once too dry to sustain the population of a huge city. But, infrastructure was built that allowed water to be pumped in from east of the region. Las Vegas had similar problems. It was part of a great desert until Lake Meade was created by the Hoover dam built on the Colorado river.