In 2003, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report warning that the U.S. was entering a new era of water scarcity. The report projected that by 2013 at least 36 states could face water shortages.
However, the report was incorrect. By 2008, five years earlier than projected, at least 36 states were already dealing with periodic, if not chronic, water shortages with California, New Mexico and Arizona at the top of the list.
Klaus Reichardt, CEO and founder of Waterless Co., predicts that while there is some good news, water scarcity and related-water concerns will likely become paramount issues in 2013.
Water predictions for 2013 are:
• Lake Michigan/Huron water systems will be at great risk of all-time low water levels, impacting lifestyles and a number of industries in the region

• Water and sewer rates in the U.S. will continue to rise in most areas due to the increased costs of electricity (to transport water to and from locations), chemical treatments and infrastructure upgrades

• Water availability in many parts of the world will fall due to droughts, inefficient use of water, chemical runoff and/or salt water infiltration in water systems

• There will be new requirements for water purification in many areas of the world, but this may also cause water rates to increase

• We will see more advocacy groups emerge urging people to conserve water and use it more efficiently

• As a result of these factors, finding ways to use water more efficiently in homes, offices, and especially in agriculture and industry will become the "new normal" in 2013.

"This last prediction is very important," says Reichardt. "For most of our history in the U.S., we have not been very concerned about water or how we use it. That will all change in 2013."