5 Major Cities Running Out of Clear Drinking Water

5 Major Cities Running Out of Clear Drinking Water


According to the World Water Development Report published this year, a 40 percent shortfall in fresh water will occur all around the world within 15 years.

This means that crops as well as all businesses that depend on water will fail. Not to mention that there will be no clear drinking water for people. The U.N. found that these problems are not only caused by meteorological changes, but by the activity of people as well. There are many cities facing this problem, but here are the 5 major ones which are running out of clear drinking water.

5. Miami

Although it rains in Miami much more than it does in California, which is probably the main concern of Americans, this city is running out of clear drinking water unexpectedly fast.

The biggest problem with water in Miami, as the U.S. Geological Survey shows, is that saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean is getting into drinking water reserves. So, even though there is more than enough rain, if salt water continues entering drinking water sources, people will no longer be able to drink it.

The Atlantic Ocean has been drawn to the cost due to swamp draining around the city at the beginning of the 20th century, which practically pulled the ocean water towards the city. Control structures were installed in the 1930s to keep the ocean water away from drinking water reserves, but as sea levels are rising it is becoming more difficult to control and more saltwater is entering drinking water sources. If the situation continues worsening in this direction, Miami will soon be left without enough freshwater for the people.

4. Tokyo

Tokyo has good amounts of rainfall and it may come as strange that this city is dealing with a water problem. However, all that rain falls in only 4 months during the year, while the rest of the season is usually dry.

An even bigger problem arises if a rainy season is weak – that means that there will be a serious drought.

Over 30 million people live in Japan’s capital, which means that millions of people are in danger as the rivers that are providing the city with water are starting to run low. Around 70 percent of all clear drinking water in Tokyo comes from the rivers and lakes, while only the remaining 30 percent of it comes from underground wells.

This city has been thinking proactively and they have developed great programs for ‘catching’ rainwater used for non-drinking purposes. However, these actions may not give the wanted results, as there is less and less water and too many people to supply it with.


3. Orlando

Located in North-central Florida, Orlando has been through several droughts in the last 10 years.

These difficult conditions have taught people to conserve water and use less of it. There are lawn-watering bans introduced to save as much water as possible. The problem with drinking water in Orlando becomes even greater, as this city isn’t able to use much water from the Floridian aquifer which was, until recently, the main source of fresh water for this city.

The city is planning to start using water from St. John River for irrigation as well as drinking water after they find a way to purify it.

However, even with this potential solution, there will soon not be enough water for the city’s demand and people are likely to stay thirsty in Orlando if the drought situation doesn’t improve. Importing bottled water is expensive and not everyone can afford it, but as there will soon be no free-drinking water, the city will have to introduce some measures to supply people with this essential necessity.

2. Las Vegas

Las Vegas’ main sources of clear drinking water are the Colorado River and Lake Mead. However, as there is averagely only 10cm of rainfall per year, and considering that this city is located in the middle of a desert, Las Vegas draws its drinking water from sources that are not so close by.

Lake Mead, which is one of the two major water supplies for this city, is more than half empty, leaving this city in danger of experiencing the most serious water shortage problem in history.

The evaporation of this lake will not affect only Las Vegas, but several other areas of Arizona and Nevada as well. Over the last 15 years, the population in this city has grown by over 18 percent, which means that water demands have increased, while water supplies have decreased.

Soon, there won’t be enough water for the people of this city. Like this wasn’t a big enough issue, the water shortage is also affecting Hoover Dam, which means that many cities will be left without hydroelectric power which was generated there.

1. London

Water managers in London say that the city will have enough drinking water for the next decade, but after that new water sources will have to be found.

The water taken from the Thames River is recycled over and over again, which means that people drink the same water they flush through the toilet. This water is treated several times in order to make it as clean as possible, and then it is pumped into supply sources.

According to U.S. estimates, London will run out of clear drinking water sooner than the rest of the world. 

Water suppliers have been warning people to start using less water daily, because if they continue using it at this pace the city will run out of water much sooner than expected, as The Telegraph reports. Londoners are now obliged to install smart meters which limit their use of water and keep them from using too much of it on a daily basis.