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Study finds El Paso in danger of running dry
By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas -- New research shows a number of big cities in the U.S. could suffer serious water shortages by the year 2050.
The study was based on several factors, including population growth, demand and climate change.
El Paso came in number 5 out of 11 cities most likely to run out of water.
Some El Pasoans were a bit surprised by the list.
"You always hear in the news, you always hear these things, but I don't think that we exhausted all our resources," said west El Paso resident David Chacon.
According to a study done by the University of Colorado, Boulder, nearly one in ten watersheds in the country is stressed or in danger of running dry.
This map, courtesy of CIRES, shows the areas affected by severe drought.
Most of the southwest is covered in yellow, and some areas are in red.
Researchers say this will have an impact on the agriculture industry.
"I believe we can find new alternatives to actually finding a way without drinking our own recycled water," said west El Pasoan Michael Casilles.
Researchers say we could see less surface water by mid-century.
In a statement about the study, El Paso Water Utilities officials said El Paso is not in danger of running out of water.
"Some communities are drastically suffering from the ongoing drought. Fortunately, EPWU along with the community's efforts have put El Paso on track to a drought-proof sustainable future."
EPWU has been working to drill more water wells to keep up with the demand.
It's also running one of the world's largest inland de-salinization plants, which its leaders say increases water production by approximately 20 percent.
"I don't think people should be afraid of El Paso being on this list because that drought can actually occur all over the U.S., such as Dallas; we do have droughts there," said Casilles.
still, some El Pasoans believe people should work harder to save this valuable resource.
"It is so precious that we need to save every drop, that we can't have any of it going to waste in the gutters or in the sewers," said Chacon.
EPWU says residents are using less water than they did 20 years ago despite a population increase of more than 200,000.
To see which other cities made the list, click on this link: 11 cities that may completely run out of water.