Idaho Consumes More Water Than Most Of The Country, Why Is That?
Drought, and the risk of it, has become a major problem in America. This brutally hot summer we've been dealing with certainly isn't helping that problem in Idaho.
According to USGS.gov, more than 25% of the total water used in 2015 in the entire United States was withdrawn in only four states. One of those states is Idaho. That's right, Idaho uses more water than just about anywhere in the country. Why is that?
Considering this has been a pressing issue since at least 2015, and average temperatures have only gotten hotter, this is something that will need to be addressed.
Since 2015, Idaho's population has seen growth like no other state. Boise has even become one of the fastest growing cities in the entire country. Without a doubt this is going to affect our domestic water supply.
We're using a lot of water and that is causing our groundwater table to diminish statewide. As more people move to Boise, or Idaho in general, we're only going to use more water.
Idaho officials say that our water is being used faster than it can be replenished. It's affecting our aquifers, rivers, and reservoirs. The year that they did this initial report in 2015, Idaho had the highest water usage per person in the nation, averaging 184 gallons of water used per day, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey.
However, the influx of transplants to Idaho isn't to blame for this. It turns out, this report shows that only 1.6% of Idaho's water withdrawals were used for public supply and domestic water (water being used in a home).
Why Does Idaho Use So Much Water?
Nearly all of Idaho's water consumption is used for agricultural irrigation. All of our farms and agricultural products are why we are using so much water in the state.
You have to keep those plants fed and hydrated. Often, that requires a lot of water. So much water in fact, that Idaho became one of the country's top consumers of water, despite having one of the lower populations in the nation.
Here's a look at the Top 12 Consumers Of Water in the country. These states are using more water than anywhere else in the country. Let's see who's joining Idaho on this list.
States That Consume The Most Water
So, what will these mean for Idaho's future? It could mean the City Of Trees will end up being a lot less green and a lot more...beige. Less water use will have our state looking dry.
Green lawns will be one of the first things to go. They soak up a lot of water. Expect more lawns and yards to switch to desert habitats, or what's often called xeriscaping. This could save a lot of gallons of water every week.
Miranda Gold, a former Eagle City Council member had this to say, "We like to use a lit of water here. Especially in areas like Star and Eagle that are growing quite a lot. They want low density housing and big lawns and lots of nice landscaping and things like that. That takes a lot of water because that's not our area's natural landscape."
Drought isn't the only water concern in Idaho, however. Many people drown every year in our canals, rivers, and lakes. Here are the Idaho waterways where you really need to be careful.