Some of us have followed stories of boats, bodies, and other things that have been found as Lake Mead and other western lakes and rivers fall to historic low levels amid a long-running drought in the Colorado River Basin.
Current projections show that Lake Mead’s water level will fall below 1,050 above sea level by January, triggering a Tier 2 shortage and dramatic cuts to water allocations. Especially hard hit will be Arizona, which faces cuts equivalent to 21% of the state’s annual allotment from the Colorado River.
States and municipalities have made uneven changes in water use regulations throughout the Colorado River Basin. Below is a brief discussion of what sorts of measures are needed, either more broadly or as a starting point where not yet implemented. Opportunities exist in the innovations and adaptations that make water use reductions measures such as these possible:
- reductions in or the elimination of thirsty decorative landscaping like conventional lawns and non-native plants, in favor of hardscaping and drought-resistant native plants
- appliances that reduce water requirements or make use of gray water in non-potable applications
- plumbing that more efficiently disperses less water to a similar effect and upgrades that guard against leakage and unnecessary water loss
- smart agriculture that plans crop placement and soil treatment to minimize water needs, along with more efficient irrigation and switching to less water-intensive farming either by changes in process or in types of crops planted
- water treatment processes including advanced membrane separation processes that recycle waste water back into water basins, whether for non-potable or potable use or both, and make lower quality water sources available for use
Freedonia analysts continue to watch factors such as drought conditions, water treatment technologies, agriculture and landscaping innovations, and climate change trends.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, especially coverage in water treatment, landscaping, and plumbing products. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.