Bloomberg adds a lot of detail today on the subject I’ve been touting for a while – the American West has a big, big water problem with no solution in sight. Bloomberg’s charts, graphs and pictures tell the story pretty well. Unless the current historic drought suddenly ends and trends reverse, the West can’t sustain the population that’s here.
This graph is the one that does it for me. This isn’t a recent problem – we’re in the late stages of a 70 year trend.
I said this to a family member last night – in the next couple of decades, I think millions of people will have to leave the West and move back across the Rockies to places where it rains. Given that prediction and probability, there’s probably a way to invest and make a ton of money. In a nutshell, the value of homes and property in the West will go down and the value of property east of the Rockies is going up.
That disruption is going to get ugly. Paolo Bacigalupi’s excellent and now-weirdly-prescient book, The Water Knife, becomes real. The investment we just made in water security may turn out to be the very thing that preserves the value of our home.