Building the World

Droughts, Floods, and Climate


Water: image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Water problems plague California, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas in the United States; recent monitoring systems reveal that 91.6 percent of California, in 2014, suffers from drought. Meanwhile, in England, floods ravage land adjoining rivers swollen with unrelenting rains. Political leaders have responded: U.S. Congress passed a $965 billion farm bill that will aid agricultural interests; while in the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron pledged 10 million pounds for the Business Support Scheme. In England, water management has a proud tradition, notably the 1613 New River. An early example of a public utility launched through mixed public/private finance, the 80 million liter water resource (today, it’s more than double that amount) allowed London to respond to urban growth. California is considering improvements in desalination, to access the abundant seawater that could ease future droughts. In search of an ever-normal water supply, might the U.S. and U.K., as well as other areas of the globe suffering water problems, find inspiration in the development of one of the world’s first public utilities?


Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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