Authors: Renbin Zhu: Institute of Polar Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, and Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA;
Qingqing Chen: Institute of Polar Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China;
Wei Ding: Institute of Polar Environment, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China;
Hua Xu: State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China.
2. U.S. cities less susceptible to water scarcity than previously thought
The past few years have seen powerful droughts across the U.S., with water shortages threatening crop production, shipping traffic, energy production, and groundwater stores. Water scarcity issues are particularly relevant for those living in cities, a demographic which now includes roughly 4 out of every 5 Americans. Previous research has tallied average daily water needs, estimated at 600 liters (about 160 gallons) per person per day, and the availability of natural renewable water resources. The results suggested that up to 47 percent of the U.S. population is vulnerable to water scarcity issues. In many cases, urban water managers cope with natural variability through the use of infrastructure designed to pump, import, or store freshwater. Nationwide water resource assessments, however, overlook such infrastructure-based approaches to water management, instead assessing only water derived from local streamflow, runoff, or groundwater storage.
To more accurately assess the vulnerability of U.S. urban areas to water shortages, Padowski and Jawitz compiled publicly available records of water management resources for 22
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American Geophysical Union