11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (2022)

For decades scientists have been saying that the United States' lakes, rivers and aquifers are going to have a hard time quenching the thirst of a growing population in a warming world.

A recent report from NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences does not alleviate those fears. It showed that nearly one in 10 watersheds in the U.S. is "stressed," with demand for water exceeding natural supply -- a trend that, researchers say, appears likely to become the new normal.

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"By midcentury, we expect to see less reliable surface water supplies in several regions of the United States," said Kristen Averyt, associate director for science at CIRES and one of the authors of the study. “This is likely to create growing challenges for agriculture, electrical suppliers and municipalities, as there may be more demand for water and less to go around.”

And a recent Columbia University Water Center study on water scarcity in the U.S. showed that it's not just climate change that is putting stress on water supply, it's also a surging population. Since 1950 there has been a 99 percent increase in population in the U.S. combined with a 127 percent increase in water usage.

"All cities and all businesses require water, yet in many regions, they need more water than is actually available — and that demand is growing," said Upmanu Lall, director, Columbia Water Center said to Business Insider. "The new study reveals that certain areas face exposure to drought, which will magnify existing problems of water supply and demand."

Far from a complete list of regions that may develop potential water scarcity issues across the nation (just take a look at either CIRES' or Columbia University's maps to see how widespread this issue could be in the U.S.), here are 11 major U.S. cities, listed in order of population, that could be deeply effected by water shortages in the not too distant future:

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Salt Lake City, Utah

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (1)

Image courtesy of Eric Smith. Used with permission. via Getty Images

A new report from NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) shows that already water-strapped Western cities -- like Salt Lake City -- will likely face increasing challenges when it comes to water.The researchers found that for every degree Fahrenheit of warming in the SLC region, a 1.8 to 6.5 percent drop in annual water flow of local streams could occur.By midcentury, that could mean that some creeks and streams that supply water to the SLC region could dry up several weeks earlier in the summer and fall.In 2012, the University of Florida's Environmental Hydrology Lab found that Salt Lake City was at "high" risk for water shortage.Estimated population: 189,314 (124th most populous U.S. city), metro: 2,350,274 (27th most populous metro area in U.S.)

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Lincoln, Nebraska

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A recent report from the Columbia University Water Center listed Nebraska in the top 10 areas with the highest risk for water scarcity.Earlier in 2013, nearly the entire state of Nebraska was in the middle of a severe drought with a staggering 96 percent of the state experiencing "extreme drought" conditions, according to a report from 24/7 Wall St.Of the 225 cities that the University of Florida's 2012 water report surveyed, Lincoln was listed as the third most at-risk city for water shortage.Estimated population: 265,404 (72nd most populous U.S. city), metro: 310,342 (158th most populous in U.S.)

Cleveland, Ohio

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (3)

Dashuai Photograph via Getty Images

A CIRES report from earlier in 2013 showed the Cleveland region's watershed to be moderately "stressed."Columbia University found similar results with their study that much of Ohio is at risk for water scarcity, based on water use and drought patterns of the past.Estimated population: 390,928 (48th most populous U.S. city), metro: 2,068,283 (28th most populous in U.S.)

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Miami, Florida

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (4)
(Video) Record drought poses serious threat to Europe's environment and critical infrastructure | DW News

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Miami's watersheds appeared to be a relatively good shape in CIRES study and the city didn't appear to be at great risk on the Columbia University study, however in 2012 the University of Florida listed the city as the second most at-risk for water vulnerability due to "low storage of water per capita."But a recent piece from Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone suggests Miami and much of South Florida's problems are much bigger. "By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin," Goodell writes.When describing the rains that can quickly flood the intersections and parking lots in Miami Beach, 71-year-old resident Harold Wanless told Goodell "This is what global warming looks like. If you live in South Florida and you're not building a boat, you're not facing reality."Estimated population: 413,892 (44th most populous city in U.S.), metro: 5,564,635 (8th most populous in U.S.)

Atlanta, Georgia

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (5)

Photo by Scott Dunn via Getty Images

Atlanta's watershed was listed as moderately "stressed" in CIRES' report from 2013 and the Atlanta region was also included as a high risk area for water shortage in Columbia University's study.The Southeast experienced a major drought between 2007 and 2008 and Atlanta suffered greatly, according to a 24/7 Wall St. study from 2010. And although the drought eventually subsided, Atlanta is still considered to be at risk of water shortage.Estimated population: 420,003 (40th most populous city in the U.S.), metro: 5,457,831 (9th most populous in the U.S.)

Washington, D.C.

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (6)

Dennis Flaherty via Getty Images

The D.C. metro area was ranked in the top 10 of the highest risk cities for water scarcity by Business Insider's analysis of Columbia University's water report. The District was also in the top 40 of most at-risk cities in University of Florida's water vulnerability report.Estimated population: 632,323 (24th most populous city in U.S.), metro: 5,703,948 (7th most populous in U.S.).

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El Paso, Texas

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (7)

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El Paso shared much of the same water shortage concerns that Texas' northern agricultural belt faced in both Columbia University's and CIRES' studies -- with high risk for water shortage and moderate stress on area watersheds. And El Paso was listed as the 10th most at-risk city in University of Florida's water vulnerability study.Estimated population: 672,538 (19th most populous city in U.S.), metro: 830,735 (67th most populous in U.S.)

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San Antonio, Texas

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (8)

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The San Antonio region's watersheds were reported as at high or moderate stress levels by CIRES and Columbia's report also showed high-risk for regional water shortage. In 2010, the NRDC ranked San Antonio's Bexar County with the highest rating it gives out for extremely high risk for water demand exceeding supply by 2050 if no major changes are made.In 2012, San Antonio was the number one most at-risk city for water vulnerability, according to the University of Florida.Estimated population: 1,382,951 (7th most populous city in U.S.), metro: 2,234,023 (25th most populous in U.S.).

San Francisco Bay Area, California

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (9)

Veronica Jones via Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, much of California was shown to be at high risk for water shortage by Columbia University's recent study and the same region's watersheds were also stressed, according to CIRES.As the Bay Area continues to boom, there just may not be enough water for the future population of the region, according to a recent report from area non-profit group SPUR. SPUR reports that due to climate change, rising sea levels and earthquakes the region's water could be severely disrupted, reduced or even infiltrated by sea water.In 2010, the NRDC said that San Francisco and other regional cities in the Bay Area like San Jose and Oakland are "very likely" to experience a crisis due to water shortage within the next 50 years, according to 24/7 Wall St.San Francisco estimated population: 825,863 (San Francisco, 14th most populous city in the U.S.), Bay Area metro: 8,370,967 (5th most populous in U.S.)

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(Video) Europe's rivers are running dry as the climate crisis worsens | DW News

Houston, Texas

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (10)

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Although Columbia University's study and CIRES' study showed high risk of water scarcity and moderate stress on regional watersheds in northern Texas' agricultural belt, the densely-populated city of Houston in the south of the state was also at risk for water issues.In 2010, 24/7 Wall St. also listed Houston on its list of cities running out of water due to concerns over its rapidly increasing population and high drought region.Estimated population: 2,160,821 (4th most populous city in the U.S.), metro: 6,177,035 (5th most populous in U.S.).

Los Angeles, California

11 Cities That Could Dry Up Thanks To Climate Change (11)

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Columbia University's water scarcity study showed most of California, from San Diego all the way to Santa Barbara, at high risk for water problems. And CIRES' study showed much of the same areas with high to moderate stress on regional watersheds from the coast and all the way inland.Los Angeles relies on importing much of its water from the Colorado River system which has long provided the American West with water -- seven states in all that are home to almost 40 million people. But demands on the river are often cited as unsustainable, due to predicted population increases and climate change. A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation predicts a water supply and demand gap in the Colorado River of about 3.2 million-acre feet by 2060 -- roughly five times the amount of water that Los Angeles uses in a year.L.A. was listed as the top American city running out of water by 24/7 Wall St. due to increasing population and drought as the city continues to increase water demands which are believed to be unsustainable.The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana region of Southern California was ranked as 6th most at-risk city for water vulnerability issues, by University of Florida in 2012.Estimated population: 3,857,799 (2nd most populous city in the U.S.), metro: 16,400,000 (2nd most populous in U.S.).

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FAQs

What cities will survive climate change? ›

The best cities for climate change
  • Seattle, Washington. Like San Francisco, Seattle doesn't expect to see a drastic increase in days with extreme heat or high heat and humidity. ...
  • Columbus, Ohio. ...
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota. ...
  • Baltimore, Maryland. ...
  • Portland, Oregon. ...
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...
  • Richmond, Virginia. ...
  • Houston, Texas.
26 Aug 2022

What are the 11 effects of global warming? ›

Global warming stresses ecosystems through temperature rises, water shortages, increased fire threats, drought, weed and pest invasions, intense storm damage and salt invasion, just to name a few.

What are the top 10 solutions to climate change? ›

What are the solutions to climate change?
  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground. ...
  • Invest in renewable energy. ...
  • Switch to sustainable transport. ...
  • Help us keep our homes cosy. ...
  • Improve farming and encourage vegan diets. ...
  • Restore nature to absorb more carbon. ...
  • Protect forests like the Amazon. ...
  • Protect the oceans.

What states will handle climate change the best? ›

Sacramento, California is the best place to live for climate change in 2022. 60% of the top 10 places to live in the U.S. for climate change are in California.

Where is the safest place for climate change? ›

According to the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), published by the independent monitoring agency, the top three countries leading in climate protection are all Scandinavian: Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, while the United Kingdom is ranked fourth in climate protection.

What state is safest from climate change? ›

The five best states for climate change
  1. Michigan. The Great Lakes State takes the top spot in our index thanks in large part to its fairly low susceptibility to most of the major climate threats. ...
  2. Vermont. ...
  3. Pennsylvania. ...
  4. Colorado. ...
  5. Minnesota.
26 Aug 2022

What are 5 solutions to global warming? ›

For example, improvements to energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy, increases in wind and solar power, biofuels from organic waste, setting a price on carbon, and protecting forests are all potent ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases trapping heat on the planet.

What are 10 things we can change to reduce greenhouse effect? ›

Things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases
  • Keep fossil fuels in the ground. ...
  • Switch to electric vehicles fast. ...
  • Be energy-efficient citizens. ...
  • Use renewables to power the world. ...
  • Change our diets. ...
  • Double the area of forests and restore habitats in the UK. ...
  • Stop funding fossil fuels overseas. ...
  • Empower women.

How can we reduce the impact of climate change? ›

  1. Put a price on carbon.
  2. End fossil fuel subsidies.
  3. Build low-carbon, resilient cities.
  4. Increase energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.
  5. Implement climate-smart agriculture and nurture forest landscapes.
18 Mar 2015

What states will be underwater in 2050? ›

Six parts of the USA that could be underwater by 2050
  • Louisiana seaboard.
  • Washington state.
  • Southern Florida.
  • Western Oregon.
  • The south-eastern coast.
  • Southern California.
17 Feb 2022

Where will be the best place to live in 2050? ›

Michigan, says globalization expert. A new book examining the forces shaping the future of global migration forecasts Michigan as the best place in the world to live in 2050.

Which states will be hardest hit by climate change? ›

Worst States for Climate Change: Natural Hazards
  • California.
  • Colorado.
  • New Mexico.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Texas.
10 Aug 2022

What countries will benefit from climate change? ›

In fact, the analysis suggests that around 70 countries in total stand to benefit from higher temperatures. Fellow cold climate countries Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Finland, Kyrgystan, Norway, Tajikistan, Sweden, Iceland and North Korea are all in the same boat.

What country will be least affected by climate change? ›

Iceland. According to GreenMatch's study, Iceland turned out to be the European country that has been affected by climate change the least.

What city is most affected by climate change? ›

Which cities are most affected by climate change?
  1. Jakarta, Indonesia. According to a 2021 report by Verisk Maplecroft, a risk analyst company, of the 100 cities most affected by climate change, 99 are in Asia. ...
  2. Delhi, India. ...
  3. Lima, Peru. ...
  4. Lagos, Nigeria. ...
  5. Karachi, Pakistan. ...
  6. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. ...
  7. Miami, Florida. ...
  8. Muscat, Oman.
12 Jul 2022

What will the world look like in 2030 climate? ›

By 2030, almost all countries will experience “extreme hot” weather every other year due mainly to greenhouse gas pollution by a handful of big emitters, according to a paper published Thursday by Communications Earth & Environment, reinforcing forecasts that the coming year will be one of the hottest on record.

What state has the best climate? ›

California

Will Great Lakes rise with global warming? ›

Great Lakes water levels could increase on average from 7.5 to 17 inches in next few decades, study says. New research into Great Lakes water levels looks farther into the future to predict how much climate change will increase lake levels in four of the five Great Lakes.

What are the 5 causes of climate change? ›

The National found out the five main culprits for this increase in greenhouse gases.
  • Fossil fuels. Expand Autoplay. ...
  • Deforestation. ...
  • Increasing livestock farming. ...
  • Fertilisers containing nitrogen. ...
  • Fluorinated gases.
9 Aug 2021

What are 5 interesting facts about climate change? ›

11 Interesting Facts About Climate Change
  • We Are Certain We Caused It. ...
  • CO2 Is At Its Highest in 2 Million Years. ...
  • We Are Losing 1.2 Trillion Tons of Ice Each Year. ...
  • Attribution Is Now Possible (Extreme Weather) ...
  • Global Warming Is (Partially) Reversible. ...
  • We Lost 302.4 Billion Work Hours to Excessive Heat In 2019.
29 May 2022

What will happen if we don't stop climate change? ›

The wildlife we love and their habitat will be destroyed, leading to mass species extinction. Superstorms, drought, and heat waves would become increasingly common and more extreme, leading to major health crises and illness. Agricultural production would plummet, likely leading to global food shortages and famine.

What is the 3 solution of climate change? ›

Some of the most promising ways to mitigate climate change are what we call “natural climate solutions”: the conservation, restoration, and improved management of land, in order to increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse-gas emissions in landscapes worldwide.

What is the biggest environmental threat today? ›

Climate change is the greatest existing threat to American wildlife, wild places, and communities around the country. Communities are already feeling the effects of a changing climate.

Why do we need to stop climate change? ›

Climate change won't just impact forest, or coral reefs, or even people in far-off countries – it will affect all of us. From more extreme weather to increasing food prices, to recreation and decreased opportunities to appreciate the natural world, people everywhere will feel its effects.

What are 10 effects of global warming? ›

Effects of Climate Change
  • Hotter temperatures. As greenhouse gas concentrations rise, so does the global surface temperature. ...
  • More severe storms. ...
  • Increased drought. ...
  • A warming, rising ocean. ...
  • Loss of species. ...
  • Not enough food. ...
  • More health risks. ...
  • Poverty and displacement.

What are the 3 main effects of climate change? ›

The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the duration and intensity of tropical storms.

What are the 3 biggest contributors to climate change? ›

Transportation, Industry, Agriculture, and Land Use and Forestry are four global emission sectors that roughly correspond to the U.S. sectors.

How can we prevent greenhouse effect essay? ›

Firstly, we must stop deforestation in all forms. Do not cut down more trees as it will only worsen the level of carbon dioxide in the air. Instead, encourage people to plant even more trees to create a fine balance in nature. Moreover, it reduces the usage of energy everywhere.

How can humans reduce the greenhouse effect? ›

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by making power on-site with renewables and other climate-friendly energy resources. Examples include rooftop solar panels, solar water heating, small-scale wind generation, fuel cells powered by natural gas or renewable hydrogen, and geothermal energy.

What can a student do to prevent climate change? ›

Make sure the lights are off if you are the last to leave the classroom, take shorter showers, and consume less meat and dairy products are all good ways you can reduce your personal footprint. Taking the time to get involved in conservation efforts in your area is a great way you can help fight climate change.

How long is Earth left? ›

The upshot: Earth has at least 1.5 billion years left to support life, the researchers report this month in Geophysical Research Letters. If humans last that long, Earth would be generally uncomfortable for them, but livable in some areas just below the polar regions, Wolf suggests.

Is it too late to fix climate? ›

Without major action to reduce emissions, global temperature is on track to rise by 2.5 °C to 4.5 °C (4.5 °F to 8 °F) by 2100, according to the latest estimates. Thwaites Glacier. Credit: NASA. But it may not be too late to avoid or limit some of the worst effects of climate change.

How many years do we have left to save the Earth? ›

Scientists say eight years left to avoid worst effects.” : “IPCC climate report gives us 10 years to save the world.”

When was climate change started? ›

Scientists generally regard the later part of the 19th century as the point at which human activity started influencing the climate. But the new study brings that date forward to the 1830s.

Where will be the best place to live in 2050? ›

Michigan, says globalization expert. A new book examining the forces shaping the future of global migration forecasts Michigan as the best place in the world to live in 2050.

What places on Earth will be least affected by climate change? ›

  • The top countries ranked by resilience to climate change.
  • New Zealand.
  • Finland.
  • Denmark.
  • Sweden.
  • Switzerland.
  • Singapore.
  • Austria.
21 Nov 2020

Which will be the best country to live in 2050? ›

Top 10 economies in 2050, according to PwC's The World in 2050 report
  • China.
  • India.
  • US.
  • Indonesia.
  • Brazil.
  • Russia.
  • Mexico.
  • Japan.
23 Mar 2020

Which countries will not be affected by climate change? ›

The 3 European Countries Least Affected by Climate Change
  • Iceland. According to GreenMatch's study, Iceland turned out to be the European country that has been affected by climate change the least. ...
  • Greece. The second country least affected by climate change turned out to be Greece. ...
  • Norway.
29 Jul 2022

How hot will it be by 2030? ›

Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. (high confidence) (Figure SPM.

What states will be least affected by climate change? ›

1 Vermont, with neighboring New Hampshire in a distant second place. The Northeast is home to the only three states with Climate Change Risk Index scores lower than 100 (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts).

What countries will benefit from climate change? ›

In fact, the analysis suggests that around 70 countries in total stand to benefit from higher temperatures. Fellow cold climate countries Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Finland, Kyrgystan, Norway, Tajikistan, Sweden, Iceland and North Korea are all in the same boat.

What city is most affected by climate change? ›

Which cities are most affected by climate change?
  1. Jakarta, Indonesia. According to a 2021 report by Verisk Maplecroft, a risk analyst company, of the 100 cities most affected by climate change, 99 are in Asia. ...
  2. Delhi, India. ...
  3. Lima, Peru. ...
  4. Lagos, Nigeria. ...
  5. Karachi, Pakistan. ...
  6. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. ...
  7. Miami, Florida. ...
  8. Muscat, Oman.
12 Jul 2022

What part of the world will be most affected by climate change? ›

Unsurprisingly, the worst affected countries will be some of the poorest in Africa and Asia. Longer term, if temperatures rise 4 degrees celsius by 2100, it could cut output by up to 30 percent. Current estimates of climate finance needs for residual loss and damage range between $290 billion to $580 billion in 2030.

Which US cities will be most affected by climate change? ›

So without further ado, let's take a look at the cities most at risk of disappearing in the next century:
  • Corpus Christi, Tx. Total Population in 100 year flood zones: 19,647. ...
  • Cambridge, MA. Total Population in 100 year flood zones: 24,015. ...
  • Newark, NJ. ...
  • Jacksonville, FL. ...
  • Savannah, GA. ...
  • Stamford, CT. ...
  • Chesapeake, VA. ...
  • Tampa, FL.
25 May 2021

Who are the 5 superpowers in the world? ›

The world's most powerful countries also are the ones that consistently dominate news headlines, preoccupy policymakers and shape global economic patterns.
...
  • United States. #1 in Power. ...
  • China. #2 in Power. ...
  • Russia. #3 in Power. ...
  • Germany. #4 in Power. ...
  • United Kingdom. #5 in Power. ...
  • South Korea. #6 in Power. ...
  • France. #7 in Power. ...
  • Japan.

Which country will rule the world in 2030? ›

By 2030, India might lead the world in every category, a former top America's diplomat has said asserting that the two largest democracies of the world can do much together.

Which citizenship is best? ›

French nationality remained the best in the world according to the 2018 edition of the Quality of Nationality Index, earning a score of 83.5% out of a possible 100%, fractionally ahead of Germany and the Netherlands.

Which country will sink first? ›

This is Kiribati. The first country that will be swallowed up by the sea as a result of climate change. Global warming is melting the polar icecaps, glaciers and the ice sheets that cover Greenland, causing sea levels to rise.

Which country is most prepared for climate change? ›

5 countries most prepared for the climate change crisis
  • Austria. Austria has a relatively high ranking of adaptive capacity. ...
  • Canada. Canada is largely exposed to climate change risks, including storm surge and river flooding. ...
  • Finland. ...
  • Portugal. ...
  • Switzerland.
6 Jul 2021

What countries will be underwater due to global warming? ›

According to the World Economic Forum (opens in new tab), by 2100, Dhaka, Bangladesh (population 22.4 million); Lagos, Nigeria (population 15.3 million); and Bangkok, Thailand (population 9 million) could also be entirely drowned or have vast tracts of land underwater and unusable.

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