Living in the same area all my life (40+ years) and frequenting the local river and streams, I have witnessed changes in the flow and depth of the local “watering holes”. The changes are considerably noticeable. One example, at the river landing closest to where I live, the river width has shrunk so much that the water is at least 60 feet from the old boat ramp (since 1985). There is a creek not too far away that use to be fairly easy to navigate with a small boat that you will now find yourself dragging your boat along most of the way now. Also I have noticed a few streams have dried up.
I have had old folks tell me that salamanders burrowing keep the spring heads open. If something kills the salamanders (Pesticides, animals etc.) that it isn’t long before the holes to the springs stop up and the water stops flowing. I don’t know that this is true (there are different species of salamanders and I am no expert) but several old folks through the years have said they had noticed streams dried up after they stopped seeing salamanders around a spring head.
Do I think that the Earth is running out of water? No. There is the Earth’s water cycle that basically recycles it’s water over and over again. It is evaporated and rains back down onto the Earth. It flows into the streams rivers and lakes and the process repeats over and over. Also some of the water soaks into the ground and gets trapped between rock or clay layers. (groundwater). There is just a higher demand for water with population and industry growth. Some areas that normally have less water than other places are getting water from other areas. (Robbing Peter to pay Paul) Therefore affecting the water supply of those other areas.
What about droughts? Well, the water is still here somewhere in the cycle (nature’s or man’s). It’s raining down somewhere just maybe not where you need it to sometimes. Weather happens! It doesn’t always behave the way we want it to or think it should.
Climate change? Well, yes it happens. It’s been happening all though the ages. It’s a part of nature. Does some of the things we do affect it? Most likely but to what degree? Ice ages have come and gone before. So climate change is a part of nature in general. As far as weather, that’s mother nature and she has always been unpredictable to some degree. You have to consider that the time of weather tracking and record keeping is relatively short when compared to the age of the Earth.
Again, does what we do affect the climate, atmosphere and weather? Again, I say yes to some degree. I don’t have no science degree but yes, it most likely speeds up the process of the natural progression of the Earth’s life cycle. No need to get all scientific and try to geekitise everything. If you are wanting to prove something, you can do studies and make them prove your theory. However, the next geek can do another study to prove you wrong and guess what? He will somehow come up with evidence to disprove your theory.
As I have often said, “Everyone has at least three addictions that they can’t do without. Air, water and food.” It’s true too, in that order. Without air you are dead pretty darn fast! So clean air should be at the top of the list. Stop cutting down the forests unless you want to run out of oxygen! You can only survive without water a few days. Food is necessary but you can survive longer without food than the previous two.
Like I said, I live in the South and I love the outdoors in general. We don’t really have water shortage concerns here locally but i suppose the day is coming. I recently acquired one of those water dispensers for the big bottles of water. One of those that dispenses both hot and cold water. At first I got water from the Culligan dispenser at the local Wal-Mart but I didn’t like the taste. Come on, it’s just filtered tap water. Maybe the filter needed changing. Anyway, there are numerous flowing wells around the county that still have very good water. So I just took my five gallon jug down to the nearest one and filled it up. Which is between two and three miles from my house. The water looks so clean and clear and no funky after taste. I drink a lot more water now! If you have a good clean natural source of drinking water consider yourself lucky. There are many places in the world where it isn’t safe to drink the water!