Why water is the new gold in the western US | DW News (2023)


In the western United States water is the most sought-after commodity. For the states of Utah and Wyoming, for Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado water — or the lack of it — has become a huge problem. The once mighty Colorado River, lifeline for tens of millions of people, is in peril. Things are so bad the US federal government had to step in setting an ultimatum to the states to come up with drastic measures to cut their water consumption. DW correspondent Stefan Simons reports.

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Foreign say, the problem is of epic proportions, all the warning signs were there, but they were ignored for decades.

The alarm Bells really went off this year, hopefully not too late the Colorado River, the direct Lifeline for more than 42 million people and indirectly, for tens of millions more is in Peril it's, really bad right now and it's only supposed to get worse next year.

We um experts decision makers.

We've known for for decades that there is this Challenge on the Colorado River.

We've known that we take more water out of the system and the river can actually Supply it.

We've known that in the Western United States.

Water is the new gold.

The most sought after commodity for States like Utah and Wyoming for Arizona California for Nevada, New, Mexico and Colorado water, or the like of it has become a huge problem.

The same goes for dozens of Native American tribes and communities of indigenous people all face, harsh water, cutbacks and tremendous challenges in the future.

Things are so bad.

The federal government stepped in Washington DC, the department of interior and its Federal Bureau of Reclamation in an audio only press conference a sound assessment of what is now slacked a drought or Water Crisis and of what has become a top priority for the White House.

The prolonged drought afflicting.

The West is one of the most significant challenges facing our communities in our country right now, almost 93 percent of the western United States is experiencing drought or abnormally dry conditions with more than 70 percent of the western United States experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions.

Those prolonged drought conditions manifest even in the Rocky Mountains, global warming and climate change make for very mild Winters that don't produce enough snowmelt anymore for the Colorado River to carry Downstream into Lake, Powell, Lake Mead or beyond the Colorado River Basin is in its 23rd year of a historic drought, both Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

The two largest reservoirs in the United States are at historically low levels with combined storage of 28 of their capacity.

The system is approaching a Tipping Point and without action.

We cannot protect the system in the millions of Americans who rely on this critical resource we're meeting with Christian gerlock, a community, activist and Senior representative of National Environmental organization, the Sierra Club Christian wants to show us a place called Echo Bay within what is known as Lake Mead National, recreational area just a few miles east of Las Vegas.

Hardly anybody ever comes really to Echo Bay.

Unfortunately, it was a very popular spot so popular.

In fact, it had an airport, but as you can see the water levels dropping so dramatically it's affected the economy of the area there are not people coming out to visit and recreate as much here in Echo Bay Echo Bay is not the only spot falling victim to unprecedented and record low water levels of Lake Mead from where the water stood in 2008, Mead visitors now must drive almost a kilometer farther until they can launch their boats besides there's, only one boat ramp left years ago.

There were 12.

The marina wants a bustling hot spot for boaters and water sport enthusiasts is more mostly empty, parking spaces than ever before at Lake Mead created by the Hoover Dam.

One can see end experience what it means.

When experts say the system is at a Tipping Point I would be concerned.

I mean, seems lower than average and I think global warming has something going on with it.

Christina Taub flight.

Attendant from Germany also visits, Hoover, Dam, she's alarmed by what she observed I think the Belgium rang long time ago and is it should keep on ringing and something has to be done about it.


It is very dangerously low.

And we actually part of a flight crew.

So we flew over a few days ago and just to see it also from above from 40 000 feet.

I can show you pictures, it's, unbelievable meets water level, shranked by a whopping 150 plus feet in the last 40 years, an ever-growing so-called white bathtub ring here.

And at other reservoirs will have devastating effects for all U.S states in the lower Colorado River basin for tens of millions of people and hundreds of thousands of businesses in Nevada Arizona California.

And even in Mexico, the impacts we're seeing from climate change are are I think you know, most of what we are more, um are happening quicker than we would have expected and things the impacts of um snowpack translating into photos in the river are being impacted by climate change.

Things like soil, moisture temperatures, evapotranspiration all these little mechanisms.

All these little components to the hydrologic cycle here in the west are being tweaked by climate change.

We're on track to see additional drops in the water levels to the point to where it's scary.

We may face what is called Deadpool where water will not even flow out of Lake Mead further down the Colorado River system.

Oh, no shortage of water in so-called Sin City.

The expansive water fountain display in front of Las Vegas iconic Hotel Bellagio is just one example, what a waste not so fast, Las, Vegas, Boom, Town and self-declared entertainment capital of the world is in fact, top of the line when it comes to water, recycling, preservation and conservation.

So places like Las, Vegas have actually done amazing efforts in terms of water conservation.

If every city that relied on Colorado River water has would do what Las Vegas has done.

Our cities would be in a much better spot.

Las Vegas has really been a leader when it comes to water conservation.

So things like the pools you're looking at, um like the the big fountains in front of the Bellagio that's recycled water, that's, not potable water in Las Vegas pictures, like this sprinklers irrigating golf courses or public parks, won't make for a lot of fuss.

All water used is recycled reused over and over again, in the city's suburbs, homeowners rip out the grass in their front and backyards and replace it with gravel and fake grass throughout the city's, so-called non-functional.

Turf grass is banned.

Now, most areas of turf that require a lot of irrigation have been replaced, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has taken tremendous steps toward reducing the water usage in the past 20 years.

The state of Nevada has seen tremendous growth in the Las Vegas Valley.

But we've actually seen a decrease in our water usage.

Thanks to programs that help people take out their water.

Thirsty lawns, that's, good news, of course.

And those measures are critically important, however, they won't make a difference.

Big enough to create change on a larger scale needed to prevent even worse drought and water conditions in the future.

We do need to make hard cuts that that's.

The the fundamental Solution on the Colorado River is we have to use less water.

And you know, the scale of how much we need to use less is millions of acre feet.

So you know, the Colorado River on average in the last 20 years is supplied like 13 to 14 million acre feet per year, 13 to 14 million acre feet.

You know, the Bureau of Reclamation who manages the system is telling us.

We need to cut two to four million acre feet.

So that's like 15 to 30 percent of how much water we use on the common nerve needs to be cut immediately.

So that's, a that's, a lot of water that's, a big scale, experts want that only unprecedented big scale, water use reductions strict water conservation.

And ultimately, the decarbonization of our economies will secure the Colorado River as a life source for tens of millions of people and for hundreds of thousands of businesses.

We've got to decarbonize our economies.

We've got to address the situation of the carbon cycle, which is intricately linked to the natural water cycle.

There is tremendous amounts more carbon in the atmosphere than there was uh several decades ago, and that Trend continues on.

And as we see that we will see additional heat waves.

We will see, uh, these additional heat, Urban island effect in Suburban areas where we do have more asphalt when it rains, especially here in Las Vegas, a lot of asphalt it funnels the water towards Lake Mead.

But a lot of it is lost due to evaporation and no longer penetrates the water table.

So it's all an interconnected system.

And we've got to take a look at how our developed Society is currently operating, uh to make those changes making those perhaps painful, but strongly needed changes is not a can do any longer.

But a must-do experts say, otherwise, the mighty Colorado River is feared to become not much more than a public rather sooner than later.

All right.


Why is water considered the new gold? ›

The United Nations predicts that by 2025, nearly two-thirds of the world's population could be living in water-stressed conditions. As a result, water is becoming an increasingly precious commodity and is being compared to gold.

Is water the next gold? ›

According to De Wit, water could be considered the new gold of the world due to its scarcity.

Who drink water with gold in the Bible? ›

Moses burnt the golden calf in a fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on water, and forced the Israelites to drink it. When Moses asked him, Aaron admitted to collecting the gold, and throwing it into the fire, and said it came out as a calf (Exodus 32:21–24).

What is considered as the new gold? ›

Data is considered the new gold because it has become a critical raw material for producing digital products and services. The vast amount of data available has the potential to generate valuable insights and fuel innovation.

Where is gold going in 2023? ›

Individual 2023 Gold Price Predictions & Forecasts
Financial Institution/AnalystGold Price Predicted (Per. oz)Time Frame
LBMA Conference Delegates$1,830.50Q4 2023
JPMorgan$1,860Q4 2023
RBC Capital Markets$1, 890Q4 2023
22 more rows

Is new gold still being formed? ›

On Earth, gold exists as it is, deep in the earth, though the form it takes (solid, or molten) may differ. There are no naturally occurring processes that produce new gold… on Earth.

Is water more valuable than gold? ›

It states that the price is determined by the availability of a commodity. Water is an extremely essential commodity and it is available in plenty, therefore, it is inexpensive. On the other hand, gold is not available in plenty and therefore the cost is high even though it is not a necessity.

What does gold mean to God? ›

During biblical times, gold was viewed as a blessing from God. When God gifted someone with gold and silver, people recognized that God was pouring out his love and protection to someone special. Therefore, when God sent someone riches, the people recognized them as favored by God.

What did Jesus say about gold? ›

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

What are the benefits of drinking water in the Bible? ›

Water has the power to purify, to provide deliverance, and it can also destroy evil and enemies as in the stories of the Flood (Genesis 6:17) and the flight of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 14:1-15:21).

Will anything replace gold? ›

Silver, platinum, and palladium—together often called the “white metals”—are highly sought-after precious metals as well.

What replaced gold? ›

12 The gold standard was completely replaced by fiat money, a term to describe currency that is used because of a government's order, or fiat, that the currency must be accepted as a means of payment.

Is the US switching to gold standard? ›

The gold standard as it existed under the Bretton Woods system until 1971 is likely never coming back. There are a myriad of reasons for this but the most important lie with the US government's ability to control the economy.

How long will gold last in the world? ›

A group of experts have concluded that the current increased production rate will lead to the depletion of some finite resources, including gold. Just how scarce are our gold reserves? Well, a group of scientists have set a date for the disappearance of the rare metal, and that is just 27 years away, in 2050.

Is it better to invest in gold or silver? ›

Silver can be considered a good portfolio diversifier with moderately weak positive correlation to stocks, bonds and commodities. However, gold is considered a more powerful diversifier.

Will gold go back up again? ›

Probably not, but it may continue to trend upward over the long run, interrupted by pullbacks and bear markets. It's important to note that gold prices have historically been volatile and have fluctuated quite a bit over time. The price of gold, like any other commodity, is subject to the laws of supply and demand.

Where is the most gold found in the US? ›

Nevada. Currently the top gold mining state of the US, Nevada is home to three of the world's top 10 gold mines and seven of the top 10 US sites. Nevada's Goldstrike is the top gold mine in the US, followed by the Cortez and Carlin Gold Mines, with all three located in north-central Nevada.

Which country has the most unmined gold? ›

In 2022, the United States was estimated to have some 3,000 metric tons of gold reserves in mines. Thus, the U.S. was one of the leading countries based on mine reserves of gold. Australia is estimated to have the largest gold mine reserves worldwide.

Where is the purest gold found? ›

Some of the veins produce up to one quarter of an ounce of gold per ton of rock. What makes Dahlonega gold so different from other gold found around the world is the purity. Dahlonega has the purest gold in the world, which is 98.7 percent pure.

How can you tell if gold is real water? ›

How to Do the Float Test to Check If Gold is Real. Fill a cup or bowl with water and carefully drop your gold piece into it. If the gold is real, it will sink to the bottom of the cup. If it's fake, it will float to the top or hover in the middle of the cup.

Why is water the most precious? ›

Water is what makes our planet so unique and virtually everything on our planet relies on it. Having clean water is vital to our individual health, our collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment.

Why is gold better than cash? ›

So, if you have cash, you're effectively losing money. Gold, on the other hand, is often considered a hedge against inflation. As the value of the dollar goes down, value of gold may increase. Not everyone agrees and gold may not always rise when inflation goes up, but it could still be an investment factor.

Why is water more precious than gold? ›

Since the beginning of human history, going back more than 7,000 years, gold has always been the outstanding unit measure of wealth. But the circumstances of a fast-growing world population that has surpassed 7.5 billion is making water a far more precious commodity than the historical value measure of gold.

Will water become more valuable than gold? ›

Something that many might take for granted is becoming highly coveted: water. In fact, water has become more precious than gold. Over the past 10 years the S&P 500 Global Water index has outperformed the bellwether gold and energy indices. In fact, water outperformed the stock market in the same period.

What is relation between gold and water? ›

Gold is a noble metal and It has outstanding resistance to chemical attacks even at high temperature. So even if it gets in contact with water there will be no changes.

Why is water considered such a precious resource? ›

Having clean water is vital to our individual health, our collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment. It is the foundation of all life and important to sanitation, human rights, urbanization, sustainability, economic growth, etc.

Is water the most valuable thing in the world? ›

As the most precious resource to living creatures on Earth, water constitutes about 71% of the planet's surface, with 96% of it belonging to the oceans.

How much gold is in ocean water? ›

If you were hoping make your fortune mining the sea, consider this: Gold in the ocean is so dilute that its concentration is very small. One study found there is only about one gram of gold for every 100 million metric tons of ocean water in the Atlantic and north Pacific.

What is the slogan for water is more precious than gold? ›

Everything is valuable under the right conditions. To a man dying of thirst, water be more precious than gold. To a drowning man, water be of little worth and great trouble.

Does real gold change in water? ›

How to Do the Float Test to Check If Gold is Real. Fill a cup or bowl with water and carefully drop your gold piece into it. If the gold is real, it will sink to the bottom of the cup. If it's fake, it will float to the top or hover in the middle of the cup.

Will gold ever stop being valuable? ›

Gold's value is ultimately a social construction; we all agree it always has been valuable and will be in the future. Gold's lustrous and metallic qualities, relative scarcity, and difficulty of extraction add to the perception that gold is a valuable commodity.

What happens to real gold in water? ›

Real gold sinks in water

Because pure gold is denser than other metals, a gold item will sink quickly and directly to the bottom of a tub or bottle of water. Fake gold can float or fall more slowly. Real gold also won't rust or tarnish when exposed to water, while gold plated items can show discoloration.

Does the earth keep producing gold? ›

There are no naturally occurring processes that produce new gold… on Earth. The process by which gold is created takes place amongst the stars! Gold is formed when stars explode or collide, only then are the necessary energy and conditions right to create gold.

Is it yours if you find gold in the ocean? ›

A discoverer who finds a shipwreck pursuant to the law of finds is entitled to the full value of all of the goods that are recovered. Since the owner of the vessel has given up trying to recover the shipwreck, the discoverer is deemed to have full rights to the content.

Where does all the gold come from? ›

About 244,000 metric tons of gold has been discovered to date (187,000 metric tons historically produced plus current underground reserves of 57,000 metric tons). Most of that gold has come from just three countries: China, Australia, and South Africa.

Why fresh water is extremely precious to us? ›

Fresh water is needed for drinking water, agriculture, irrigation, industry and power generation. In addition, 10% of the world's animal species live exclusively in freshwater habitats, many of which are currently threatened with extinction. It has never been so important to protect our freshwater environments.

Where is most of the 3% of fresh water located? ›

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, most of that three percent is inaccessible. Over 68 percent of the fresh water on Earth is found in icecaps and glaciers, and just over 30 percent is found in ground water. Only about 0.3 percent of our fresh water is found in the surface water of lakes, rivers, and swamps.

Why is water important to life? ›

Around 60 percent of our body is made up of water and we can only live three to five days without fluids. Water plays many important roles in the body including flushing waste from the body, regulating body temperature, transportation of nutrients and is necessary for digestion.

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