Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Drought affects move choices
There's finally a "bad list" that we're not on in Michigan. It has to do with areas that are considered drought risks. We've already seen on the national news what drought has done in George, Alabama and Louisiana; where water supplies are drying up and the states are fighting over water rights. There are other areas that have been under drought conditions for several years, too, and others considered at risk for drought. The riskiest places in the US are Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA; Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, TN; Chattanooga, TN-GA; Birmingham-Hoover, AL; Greenville, SC and Knoxville, TN; according to Bert Sperling's BestPlaces.net. To see how drought prone your area might be, there is another net site - DroughtScore.com.
While we don't have to worry as much about running out of water locally, there is concern that the Great Lakes levels are dropping. we've been in a drought of our own in Michigan and this past year was officially declared a drought disaster in all of the counties of the lower peninsula in Michigan; so, farmers are now eligible for disaster relief loans because of that. Some of these conditions are normal cycles that the country goes through from time to time; however, an increasing chorus of scientists is also blaming the severity and length of the current drought conditions on global climate change. Will someone please get Al Gore a glass of water; he looks a bit parched up there on the dais.
All of this is starting to have some affect on people's choices of where to move. Given a choice, why move to a state or area that is a drought or is running out of water? More and more people are just saying no. Of course, it's kind of hard to say no to a new job in one of these hard hit areas, but one should at least consider that in the "quality of life" criteria when assessing job offers. I think the same is true of a decision to move into a flood prone area or one that get destroyed by fires or earthquakes every few years, but that's just me. maybe the people who live in some of those places are wealthy enough to be able to drink and bath in bottled water.