A new study says Houston is one of the 10 big cities in the country that could face a crushing water shortage in the coming years.
Two major studies were examined by 24/7 Wall Street to come up with the claim that Houston belongs as much on the list as obvious choices like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson.
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Throughout most of its history, the city of Houston primarily drew water from the Jasper Aquifer, located along the southeastern coast of Texas. Over the last 30 years, the city began to suffer from dramatic rises in sea level of nearly an inch a year. Geologists eventually realized that the cause was Houston's withdrawal of fresh water from the aquifer located under the city.
This discovery forced city officials to use nearby Lake Houston and Lake Conroe for municipal water instead of the aquifer. Since 2000, Houston has been the fifth fastest-growing city in the country, and its presence in an area with high drought likelihood makes it an immediate risk for serious water shortages.
As gloomy as that sounds, we're better off than Fort Worth or San Antonio, the report says.
San Antonio, for instance, is "at extremely high risk for water demand exceeding supply by 2050 if no major systematic changes are made," the study says, but many options are closed off. The city might have to finance a desalinization plant on the Gulf, the authors claim.