The Red River Crisis: Disputes and Solutions

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Without water, the world would cease to exist. Land that was once fertile and green would inevitably become barren and be rendered useless. Forests, grasslands, and other key habitats would disappear in the blink of an eye, leaving tens of thousands of species helpless. Our society and life as we know it would be flipped upside down as wars ensue over natural resources and the ownership of any water that might remain. Although many believe that our current water supply is not so finite and our society is far from reaching the verge of disaster, in many regions of the world, the depletion of water has already generated some of these detrimental impacts. In the past decade, Texas has witnessed a number of both societal and environmental changes take place within its borders due to a significant shortage of water resources. This deficient water supply has not only been caused by its overconsumption and inefficient usage, but perhaps even more so by the historic droughts that plagued the state in recent years. The drought of 2011 was reported to be even worse than the drought of record in the 1950s, making 2011 the driest year ever for the state with an average rainfall of only 14.8 inches (6). Coupled with the scorching summer heat, the drought left many rivers and reservoirs used for residential purposes completely dry as increased evaporation substantially reduced surface water levels throughout Texas. While the state has been fortunate enough to receive more rainfall within these past two years, ameliorating the drought’s devastating effects, according to State Climatologist John-Nielsen Gammon, “over 90% of Texas” is still suffering from some form of drought conditions (6). During the summer of 2011, nearly half of the state en... ... middle of paper ... ...er?" Oklahoma RSS. Npr, 20 Sept. 2013. Web. . 22. Wertz, Joe. "Supreme Court Ruling Won’t Keep Texas From Trying to Buy Oklahoma Water." Oklahoma RSS. Npr, 21 June 2013. Web. . 23. Wertz, Joe. "Texas’ Application for Oklahoma Water Still Active Despite Supreme Court Ruling." Oklahoma RSS. Npr, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. . 24. Wertz, Joe. "The Evolving Politics of Oklahoma Water Policy." Oklahoma RSS. Npr, 2 Aug. 2013. Web. .

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