Speaking yesterday at the Wilson Center
, Circle of Blue
Senior Editor and New York Times
reporter Keith Schneider
called his organization’s latest project, reporting on the intersection of finite water resources and growing demand for energy around the world, one of the most important stories of his career. First in the series is Choke Point: U.S.
For as long as the United States has been a nation the central idea guiding energy development is to generate as much as the energy sector is capable of producing. In every way imaginable, though, the 21st century is testing the soundness of that principle. A number of environmental, economic, and political impediments lie in the path to large increases in American energy production.For more check out Circle of Blue’s full feature as well their multimedia section, with infographics illustrating water regulations and power generation type by state, North Dakota’s remarkable rise to “domestic oil royalty,” and video interviews with residents and experts from around the country (including the Wilson Center’s Jennifer Turner, on China).
None, though, is more significant than the nation’s steadily diminishing reserve of fresh water. The place where rising energy demand collides with declining water supplies is a national choke point that the United States has barely begun to address, and certainly isn’t close to resolving.
Beyond the United States, Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum also hope to start-up a “Choke Point: China” but are still seeking funding.
Image Credit: Graphic courtesy of Ball State University graduate student, Mark Townsend, and data compiled by Circle of Blue’s Aubrey Ann Parker and Andrea Hart.