In 2008 I was in Las Vegas. We took a tour to Lake Mead, the reservoir behind the Hoover Dam, and I noticed the water marks of the rocks surrounding the Lake indicating that water level was fairly low.
A day or two later, in exchange for some show tickets, we were working our way through a time- share presentation of some very, very nice new high rise buildings. I had no real interest in a time-share (although the apartments were REALLY nice) but I remember asking the sales guy where all these high rises were going to get water and he simply said "Lake Mead" as if it was obvious.
Given what I had seen at the lake and looking at all the new construction, I had some doubts about how obvious a solution that was.
Now I see on the Internet that Lake Mead is at an all time low and they're predicting water shortages and even possibly "dry days" by 2015. This comes as no real surprise to me given what I've seen in Vegas.
I wonder how the strip is going to make out when there are days when you can't take a shower?
This is only the first effects that we're about to see from climate change rendering the water supply in the western states more and more iffy.
I wouldn't panic just yet, but the problem is Conservatives refuse to even recognize the fact that there is a looming problem.
In the final analysis this is an engineering problem and there is (hopefully) an engineering solution. But we're not going to find that solution until we get engineers looking at the issue and that's not going to happen until we recognize that an issue exists.