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Letter

Although we may have become numb to bad news on the environmental front, it is hard to ignore the very recent news on water stress globally. Areas that have traditionally been arid are becoming more arid. Along with areas with a drying climate, water use is increasing at more than twice the rate as population growth. The Middle East, with its inherent instability, as well as India and Pakistan are among the seventeen countries listed with extremely high water stress. Iran and Israel are included. India, Pakistan and Israel all currently have nuclear weapons. Among the 26 countries in the next category of high water stress, is Mexico. Within the U.S., New Mexico is listed as having extremely high water availability pressures, with California, Colorado, Arizona and Nebraska having high water pressures. There are 10 states, including Texas, Florida and Wyoming with medium high water pressures. Montana is among about 23 states with medium low water pressures. This leaves about 10 states with low water availability pressures, including only Washington in our region. Are we being caught flat-footed in our responses, in our nation, over water and are serious international water wars looming?

Erwin Curry,

Missoula

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