Winter rains have soaked the Southeast, relieving drought across much of the region, though serious persistent drought persists centered on Tennessee, and a growing water deficit is becoming serious along the part of the Rio Grande in Texas.
"Now," as USA Today reports, "comes a tougher challenge: resolving new and long-standing disputes over water that some experts believe could hamper the region's emergence as an economic and population powerhouse. In a part of the nation where water shortages have not traditionally been an issue, it's difficult to tell whether even an historic drought has made a lasting difference, some scholars say."
Overcoming adversity is a cherished part of the human spirit. Planning for sound use of natural resources, unfortunately, is not.
That means, Georgia, Florida and Alabama are more likely to see sprawling residential development demand more water even as they bicker over the use of the rivers they share. That means North and South Carolina, with their booming retirement communities, are likely to keep fighting over the Catawba River's resources. And it's likely that Georgia and Tennessee will continue to spar over the use of the Tennessee River.
Until those conflicts are resolved, until development is undertaken with dry times in mind, and until water-saving fixtures are a part of every home and business, the region will rely on rain. Here's a look at what Mother Nature has provided recently:
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