While Southern California is a naturally arid area, there are worries that climate change is making the droughts more intense and could lead to ‘inter-state conflicts’ over the disappearing water supplies. Some models have predicted temperature increases of up to 11F by the year 3000 and this along with population and development pressures will place increasing strain upon water resources.
The largest reservoir in New Mexico is already less than 50% full and reservoirs in Arizona and Nevada are so depleted that they may never be full again.
Seven states depend on water from the Colorado River and at the moment water is allocated on a first claim basis. However, this plan may have to change as water becomes more scarce and tensions rise.
The area is hoping that a wet year will follow the previous dry ones and help to increase water reserves, but this looks more and more unlikely as the effects of climate change worsen year by year.