CNBC (May 30, 2023) – From floods to droughts, CNBC Marathon explores the water crisis in the U.S. Today, one out of three people don’t have access to safe drinking water. And that’s the result of many things, but one of them is that 96.5% of that water is found in our oceans. It’s saturated with salt, and undrinkable.
Chapters: 00:00 — Introduction 00:30 — Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World? (Published October 2019) 14:00 — U.S. Farms Waste A Lot Of Water — But This Tech Could Help (Published September 2022) 29:56 — How The West Coast Drought Could Cause More ‘Water Wars’ (Published July 2021) 40:07 — Why Flood Insurance Is Failing The U.S. (Published November 2020)
Most of the freshwater is locked away in glaciers or deep underground. Less than one percent of it is available to us. So why can’t we just take all that seawater, filter out the salt, and have a nearly unlimited supply of clean, drinkable water? The western U.S. is experience a megadrought so severe, it is the driest two decades in at least 1,200 years. And no sector has felt the impact more than agriculture, which takes up about 70% of the world’s freshwater.
With water resources becoming more scarce, several companies are working to improve irrigation efficiency and help sustain food production in a future where extreme climate may be more common. Water is a cornerstone of economic activity, and when it runs low, communities face tough choices. The extreme drought conditions in the U.S. West are straining water resources and providing a fertile ground for wildfires. How will the West Coast face this climate challenge? And 2020 was the busiest hurricane season on record. Flooding is one of a storm’s most devastating consequences.
FEMA estimates one inch of flood water can cause up to $25,000 in damage. The U.S. began offering national flood insurance in 1968 but the program, called the NFIP, is now over $20 billion in debt. Private companies are starting to offer flood insurance as well. However, flood insurance is more complicated than it may appear. Watch the video to better understand how flood insurance works, and doesn’t work, in the U.S.