The foreseeable vulnerability of regional water supplies in the Lower 48 to shortages from over stressed basins is made worse by anticipated water resource impacts from climate change. Essentially, regional water scarcity will differ depending on state and local supply and demand portfolios and variability of climate. Since U.S. water supply vulnerabilities are regionally uneven, the strategic water use efficiency response needs to be regional as well. Regionally mandatory water use efficiency should replace the outdated paradigm of voluntary measures currently employed piecemeal and unevenly within state borders, which ignore regional watershed hydrology. Mandating the efficient use of regional water might require a National commitment that includes reforming the Water Resource Planning Act. Estimates of the potential water savings achievable from mandatory efficiency policies are provided. The adaptation needed to realize these savings would have to be both reasonable and equitable, requiring the roles of the federal government, state and local governments, and water purveyors are clearly defined. Defining these roles is considered the first best step – part of a more comprehensive national (not federal) water policy - towards empowering the efficiency of all water uses. Roles are recommended: Supported by national standards, funding mechanisms and updated priorities at the federal government level; Organized, mandated and supported by statutory requirement and programmatic implementation at the state government level; Supported at the local government level by code and ordinance; and, Implemented at the water purveyor level.
Funk, Andrew. "Regional Scarcity." Water Efficiency (2010): 47-51. https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/wr_sp/197