Peter Gleick: As a nation we’re relatively well-endowed with water. But the problem is that regionally we see growing scarcity. We see growing conflicts over water.
Environmental scientist Peter Gleick is head of the Pacific Institute, a water think-tank. Gleick cites disputes between states over the water they share.
Peter Gleick: For example, between Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, over the Apalachicola-Flint river system, those three states are not in any agreement about how to share the scarce water resources for their growing populations.
Gleick’s also concerned about the water below ground.
Peter Gleick: We see declining ground water levels in many parts of the country where we’re overpumping ground water faster than nature naturally recharges it. And that’s not sustainable.
Gleick said that one problem is that our water is often managed by many different agencies.
Peter Gleick: We have very uncoordinated federal water policy. It’s time to rethink our water policy at the federal level and at the local level in a way that meets the needs of today rather than, frankly, the needs of fifty years ago.
Join EarthSky in celebrating The International Year of Planet Earth. Thanks to the National Science Foundation and US Geological Survey.
Our thanks to:
Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
Jorge Salazar has conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists in the process of creating science content for EarthSky. He also helps host the 90-second EarthSky podcasts. Jorge has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He knows a lot about a lot of different things. For EarthSky, he has explored subjects as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. His penetrating research style, poetic writing, and ability to track down and speak with Nobel prize-winning laureates, all make him a huge asset to EarthSky.