Too much water typically occurs as a result of a flood or a major weather event and often happens quickly, within hours. The problem of too little water typically develops over time, possibly years, before it is considered an actual emergency that requires immediate action
In the next few years, if trends continue, we are likely to see more labels and more labeling information on a variety of products we use every day. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration recently announced it is going to require menu labeling at restaurants, specifically fast food facilities. Aware that this trend is in the cards, some fast food restaurants have already started posting labels listing calories and other information in their locations.
Another type of label garnering increased attention is carbon labels. One such program developed by an organization in England indicates the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted by a product during its entire lifecycle. It is calculated by determining such things as the raw materials used to make the product, how it is transported, how and where the product is built, and how it is packaged.
In many areas of the United States, water is not only in short supply, but becoming a chronic problem. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 36 states have experienced or can anticipate some type of local, regional, or even statewide water shortage this year and into at least the first half of next year. Water issues and shortages are already having a significant impact on both consumers and commercial facilities such as office buildings.
First and foremost, water is getting more and more expensive. In Chicago and neighboring communities that depend on the city for their water supply, a 25 percent rate increase took effect January 1, 2012. The rate went up again in 2013 by 15 percent, and will increase again in 2014. That’s a 55 percent rate increase over a three-year period. Even though American municipalities have traditionally underpriced water, a 55 percent rate increase in such a short amount of time is an indication that a serious problem exists—with no resolution in sight.