It’s a drought, stupid! pt. 2

(Update: The blog Atlanta Water Shortage seems to have closed its doors. The url is now occupied by the web host and domain name sleazebags at

In a recent post we poked a bit of fun at Atlanta, Georgia, and ended up feeling a tad guilty. Instead of showing compassion for fellow citizens who appear to be about 3 months from having to evacuate because they won’t have any water, we portrayed them as a bunch of idiots who are in complete denial about their dire situation. The up-to-the-minute Atlanta Water Shortage (AWS) summarizes the findings of a coalition of conservation groups that shows we were possibly too kind. AWS states that:

The report cites a legacy of waste, namely 18 percent of water treated and cleaned (emphasis’s) is lost due to leaky pipes while millions of homes still using wasteful plumbing.

Cynthia Barnett’s devastating and well-documented book, Mirage:Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. states that the national average for treated water lost from leaky pipes is 14 percent! That’s appalling of course, but Atlanta is raising the bar. Atlanta is leading the nation. And, even though it’s illegal, they apparently continue to water their lawns with encouragement from some of the local media. The linked article from a local newspaper, while supposedly advocating minimum water usage, makes it seem like it’s a heroic undertaking to save your lawn. It’s titled Drought? Don’t Panic and Don’t Quit.

This ABC News page is a great resource for a lot of bad news. The main story tells us that 36 states face dwindling water supplies (see U.S. Drought Monitor linked from our right-hand column), and that a small Tennessee town has already run out of water. The article has a lot of related links, and you can also check out the four video news reports about the worsening drought conditions in Atlanta, Florida, and the Southwest.


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