Yes, I believe so… The US has access to many freshwater springs, and we get a good amount of rainfall each year. This means we should be exporting water (via a pipeline, which we’ve yet to construct) to get to the places where they are dying because they do not have access to any water. We have a surplus, and they have the demand (it’s a necessity for life). We should do more to help out the less fortunate, in my opinion. But back to your question, yes it makes sense that as water resources become scarce in certain places, those with the money to buy water and bring it in via import will do so; and those who have extra water will choose to sell it… The question is how can we balance out our uses for water (so we can cut down on uses that are not absolutely necessary) and fix the system so it isn’t the pull and tug of money (supply and demand curves) that dictates where the water will go, but rather the basic necessity for it will decide—- so those who really need water to survive will have access to it!
As water does become a more scarce resource, it will be interesting to see what happens in international relations between the US and Mexico, which have always have a shaky agreement on the water rights of the Colorado River, which begins in the Rockies, but empties after crossing into Mexico. Does the US have a right to all the water since its source point is within out borders? How do we begin to ration water between citizens and Mexico if water becomes so valuable? It would be interesting to see.
Areas that have traditionally not had to rely on systems of importing/exporting water will have the hardest time adjusting. However, areas that have traditionally imported most of their water (such as much of the the Southwest) will likely begin to use alternative methods to importing water as costs begin to rise and resources become limited. Areas such as Southern California will begin to recycle their waste water and desalinate ocean water in order to increase their water resources. Many water tight regions will likely begin extensive conservation programs in addition to possible water rationing if resources become extremely scarce and it the cost of importation becomes prohibitively high.
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