Demand for water is a spreading problem across the United States. The Government Accountability Office projects that as many as 46 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, and waste.

Droughts and conflicts over water issues have been a common occurrence in the Southwest ever since people settled in the region, but now other parts of the United States are experiencing the same problems. The Southeast has always been considered a water-rich part of the country, but that perception is quickly changing. The 2007 drought was the worst to hit the Southeast in more than a century. It extended over most of Tennessee, Alabama, and the northern half of Georgia, as well as parts of North and South Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia. More than a quarter of the Southeast was covered by an "exceptional" drought, which is the National Weather Service's worst drought category.

In October 2007, Georgia state officials warned that Lake Lanier, the primary source of water for Atlanta, was within three months of being depleted. The city of Atlanta proposed piping in additional sources of water from the Tennessee River or even pumping in seawater from the Atlantic coast.

National Weather Service

Precipitation Analysis

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