Despite the relative rarity of droughts in the second half of the 20th century, historic records show that regular droughts are more typical for the Southeast. Global warming suggests more is yet to come— continued climate changes will potentially cause both more extremely dry periods and more heavy rainfall events. And, sea level rise could contaminate critical underground freshwater reserves.
The Southeast should take the following actions to plan for increasing variability in water supply:
Rapidly expanding population, irrigation and power generation have increased water demands.
More water shortages are on the horizon because of drought, expanding population, and rising sea levels.
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