The authors cautioned that the paper’s estimates are conservative and are based on data from 1950 – 99. They do not include the previous decade, which had some of the highest temperatures and most extreme droughts, along with population increases.
“Also, the estimates don’t take climate change into account,” Kominoski said. “We expect to have less precipitation in the summer, during the growing season, and more severe droughts. As population grows, so does demand for water.”
In addition to Graf, Sinha, Kominoski and Sabo, the paper’s authors included Dr. Laura Bowling, Purdue University; Dr. Gerrit Schoups, Delft University of Technology; Dr.Wesley Wallender, University of California, Davis; Dr. Michael Campana, Oregon State University; Dr. Keith Cherkauer, Purdue University; Dr. Pam Fuller, U.S. Geological Survey; Dr. Jan Hopmans, University of California, Davis; Dr. Carissa Taylor, Arizona State University; Dr. Stanley Trimble, University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Robert Webb, U.S. Geological Survey; and Dr. Ellen Wohl, Colorado State University.