Paul Heinz

Original Fiction, Music and Essays

Water Shortages Could Make Illinoisans Rich

Today CNN reported on the water crisis in Capetown, where water could run out as soon as April 16th – a day coined "Day Zero" – and how the city is struggling to keep its residents from using more than the daily allotted water amount of approximately thirteen gallons a day. This isn’t a crisis that couldn’t have been predicted, and it’s certainly one we’ll see over and over again in the coming decades as ocean levels rise, severe droughts increase, snowmelt declines, populations grow, and underground aquifers are tapped out. One need only look to recent water shortages in California and Atlanta to understand that the water issue isn’t going to circumvent the United States, though the U.S. may be in a better position than many countries due to financial and natural resources.

The biggest of these natural resources is, of course, the Great Lakes, which account for about one-fifth of the fresh water on the planet, and even though Illinois is currently suffering net-population loss as its citizens flee high taxes, poor services and inept politicians, circumstances that have nothing to do with politics could in time reverse the trend and make Illinois a Destination State. According to the The Chicago Tribune, the fastest-growing state in 2017 was Idaho, followed by Nevada and Utah, with Arizona and Florida in the top five, places where the long-term access to a reliable water supply is in question, and in ten or twenty years it’s conceivable that water could become a determining factor in the migration of U.S. citizens (and also, I believe, a resource over which wars will be fought before this century concludes).

So I’m going to take the long view. I figure it’s only a matter of time before people’s eyes roam northward, and all need to do is hang onto my 1928 bungalow whose value has been stagnant for the past several years, bide my time and wait for rising temperatures to smooth out the more extreme elements of Illinoisan winters and for fresh water supplies to plummet in the south and west where populations are currently increasing.

And then I’m going to cash in, baby.

In the meantime, could we please start taking fresh water supply planning seriously?

Nah. Lower taxes and tougher immigration laws will fix everything. 



Copyright, 2017, Paul Heinz, All Right Reserved