Dec. 2 2015 03:00 AM

Water scarcity is having a massive impact on our nation today. Look at how the California drought is changing the state, and even the rest of the country. What we’re experiencing in California is what we’re going to experience in 40 out of the 50 states within the next five years.

Right now, more than 33 million people and a quarter-million jobs depend on the Colorado River, but it’s already running dry in places. Lake Mead, which supplies 22 million people in the Southwest, is estimated to be dry in less than 30 years.

On top of the dire environmental reasons, the price of water is rising faster than U.S. inflation and faster than electricity, gas and telephone service. Yet despite the rising cost, as much as 50% of the water we use outside our homes is wasted, according to the EPA. Outdated irrigation technology, unidentified repairs, and lack of water-program customization for sprinkler, soil and plant type are to blame for this excessive water loss.

Seize this opportunity

These statistics make a strong statement: now is the time for irrigation and green industry professionals to increase their water management skills and services. When water isn’t professionally managed, no one ever sees how much is being lost. With the skyrocketing cost of water and declining cost of technology, smart irrigation technology and remote connectivity have never been more affordable or more profitable. The irrigation industry is perfectly poised to shift the nation’s sustainability focus from energy to water and make a life-saving change in the global water crisis.

Water is a scarce resource that must be protected for the future. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. We don’t have time to ignore water; these statistics are only 10 years away.