The Southwest’s Population

January 22, 2014 • Water, United States, Daily Email Recap

The Southwest’s Population

To the Editor:

In “Colorado River Drought Forces a Painful Reckoning for States”(front page, Jan. 6), the major problem of drought in the Southwest is documented vis-à-vis the availability of water for farming and for the population of Southern California and neighboring states dependent on the Colorado. The article mentions conservation efforts and potential alternative sources of water (San Diego’s construction of a desalination plant).

However, as is typical of such news reports, the article does not directly deal with the elephant in the room – rapid population growth in the Southwest – except to take continued growth as given. It merely says “40 million people also depend on the river and its tributaries, and their numbers are rising rapidly.”

Is it not appropriate to openly ask two questions: What is a sustainable population in the Southwest, considering its water resources, and what policies could eventually limit population growth there?

Baltimore, Jan. 7, 2014

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