DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Nov 28 2007

Water, Drought, and Conflict

by Heather O

Visiting family in Florida over the holidays I was repeatedly asked
about the drought from an Atlanta perspective: What was Atlanta, or
Georgia going to do if we ran out? What were we doing to conserve? Did
Florida or Alabama have the same rights to the water that we’ve been fighting over for more than a decade? Who owns the

During one of the worst droughts in Georgia history the concept of water as not only a finite resource, but also of an economic commodity no longer belongs in the realm of science fiction. Having never lived in a place where water was not abundant, how important and precious it is never really sunk in. The American West was won by water; where you could get it, people settled. Wars over water have been fought for thousands of years, current conflicts can be partially attributed to and possibly be mitigated by water. From current events from Australia to Southern Europe; droughts can cause wildfires, crop failure, and population displacement. Could water become the most powerful political and economic force in the world?

Interested? Check out these books:

Cadillac desert: The American West and its disappearing water

Every drop for sale: Our desperate battle over water in a world about to run out

Mirage: Florida and the vanishing water of the Eastern U.S.

Tapped out: The coming world crisis in water and what we can do about it

Water: The fate of our most precious resource 

Water wars: Drought, flood, folly, and the politics of thirst

When the rivers run dry: Water, the defining crisis of the twenty-first century

Other websites:

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Links

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Water Links

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