Change in the southern U.S. water demand and supply over the next forty years
Water shortages are often considered a problem in the western United States, where water supply is limited compared to the eastern half of the country. However, periodic water shortages are also common in the southeastern United States due to high water demand and periodic drought. Southeastern U.S. municipalities spend billions of dollars to develop water storage capacity as a buffer against periodic drought. Buffers against water shortage include the development of water reservoirs and well excavation to mine ancient aquifers. It is important to have good estimates of future water supply and demand to prevent wasting money by creating more reservoir capacity than is needed by a community. Conversely, a lack of water reserve capacity can lead to the need for water restrictions.