As I look ahead for the next five or ten years, one of the biggest challenges and biggest changes, I think we’re going to see around water, is awareness and visibility and change in our own use and behavior because of that awareness. 

Places that today aren’t really seeing a particular water challenge, are absolutely going to have problems if we don’t change our ways.  Our aquifer levels are dropping below sustainable levels. Our watersheds, like Lake Mead out west, is down 150 feet.  The southeastern United States, which never used to have water problems, in the last couple years has had major water challenges, and similarly around the world - the north of China, India.

Throughout the world, the awareness of water as an inhibitor to growth is becoming more and more front of mind.  You know, we didn’t make the back section of the newspaper five or ten years ago, now you see front page stories in everything from Scientific American to New York Times, the Wall Street Journal

So I think that water is raising in the public’s consciousness and consequently, we’re going to see the changes.  The investments made, the behavioral shift in water consumptive patterns, the right decisions made on water pricing, smarter irrigation methodologies, all of these things are really going to drive change.

And fortunately parallel to that, we see tremendous improvements in technology.  So you get a rising awareness and a technological change. I think it’s a bright future.  I think we're going to be able to connect these dots together and be able to change our outcome.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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