Different countries have different amounts of water. Generally speaking:
Water consumption has been rising globally over time. There are two main reasons for this:
Everyone needs water in order to survive. Water makes up at least 60% of a person’s bodyweight and it is needed for all bodily functions. People also use water for hygiene, cooking and cleaning. The population of the world is increasing, but there is only a fixed amount of fresh water available for us to use.
As countries develop, their water use increases. People in wealthier nations have water delivered into their homes via pipeline. Modern appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, use a lot of water. Commercial agriculture, industry and tourism in high income countries (HICs) consume vast quantities of water too. The water footprint of HICs is much higher than low income countries (LICs). As more countries develop, the demands on water will increase.
California is a coastal state in western USA. It has deserts to the east, but there is usually plenty of rainfall to provide water along the coast.
California has experienced drought since 2011. Irrigated crops use a lot of the freshwater supplies in the region. Rising temperatures, falling rainfall levels and a growing population are also contributing to the problem.
The drought has lowered groundwater levels. This can cause lots of problems, such as:
There are no official rules in California that stop property owners from pumping more water out of the ground. Groundwater limits are now being considered, but these couldn’t be enforced until 2020. Until then, people are being encouraged to use less water.