Imagine a sun-scorched earth with people as parched as the land. Animals lay in heaps under the trees, panting and trying to cool off. Think this is some place in sub-Saharan Africa? Well, you would be wrong. This is right here in America: in Barnhart, Texas.
Barnhart is a city where the water has actually run dry. One day, Beverly McGuire turned on the faucet and nothing came out. There was no water to drink. No water to wash clothes, take a shower, or use for watering plants. No water to live.
They knew the town well was running low. They just didn’t realize it was quite that low. A report by The Guardian lists three main reasons for why the town may have lost all its water. They boil down to drought, rising population, and fracking.
The town has seen little rain in the last few months. The little rain they do receive is not enough and much of it gets sucked up by the oil drilling. They are experiencing a true drought brought on by climate change.
What many people don’t realize is that climate change not only brings wilder storms but also brings intense periods of drought. The weather systems that used to exist in the United States are rapidly changing.
The second reason, growing population, is just that. The world’s population has not slowed down one bit. It’s growing every second of every day. Those people all need water and other resources. The more people are using, the less there is. It’s a simple mathematical equation. As for Barnhart, the population may drop to zero if they can’t get any water.
The third reason, fracking, is a way of extracting oil that uses a huge amount of water in the process. The townspeople say the fracking machines are sucking up all their water, leaving nothing for them. They say it’s all about greed and money. The Permian Shale Basin Association which represents the oil companies has refused to comment on the situation.
What are the people doing now? They are drinking bottled water and simply praying.