A call to conserve resources

After a summer of extreme drought, it’s time rethink local water conservation.

Daily Editorial Board

If we are to learn anything from this summer’s drought and record breaking heat, it should be that water conservation and sustainability are just as important to our economy as they are  to the environment. The disappointing growing season, resulting from a drought stretching across 29 states, is predicted to raise food costs up to 4 percent over the next year, and what’s more distressing is these droughts are expected to be more common in coming years.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that, “It is virtually certain that increases in the frequency and magnitude of warm daily temperature extremes and decreases in cold extremes will occur in the 21st century on a global scale.”

If we are expected to see more extreme heat waves in the future, water conservation must become a national priority. A fundamental change in the way we use our water must take place to ensure there’s enough for everything from crops and vegetation to household drinking water.

In Las Vegas, a city which is more familiar than most with dry weather conditions, restrictions on residential water usage have been made permanent, and water-waste fees can be given to those who fail to comply. It may seem extreme, but as our most important natural resource, we have to prioritize where and when we use our water. And while government regulations can help mandate a certain amount of water conservation, we as a society have to make a conscious decision about how much we value our natural resources in the face of an increasingly warmer climate.