WE’RE in the worst drought in the United States since the 1950s, and we’re wasting it.
Though the drought has devastated corn crops and disrupted commerce on the Mississippi River, it also represents an opportunity to tackle long-ignored water problems and to reimagine how we manage, use and even think about water.
For decades, Americans have typically handled drought the same way. We are asked to limit lawn-watering and car-washing, to fully load dishwashers and washing machines before running them, to turn off the tap while brushing our teeth. When the rain comes, we all go back to our old water habits.
But just as the oil crisis of the 1970s spurred advances in fuel efficiency, so should the Drought of 2012 inspire efforts to reduce water consumption.
No, you idiot! It means we have to increase supply. Developers think expansion while the too-afraid think restriction. Onward and upward for all humanity.