Water conservation efforts overwhelmed by continued population growth says ad campaign

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and allied organizations have initiated an ad campaign to draw attention to America's looming water shortages and the role that population growth plays in the problem. The advertisements will appear in major national publications...

SANTA BARBARA, CA, Oct. 20, 2008 -- Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and allied organizations have initiated an ad campaign to draw attention to America's looming water shortages and the role that population growth plays in the problem. The advertisements will appear in major national publications.

"California and other parts of the country are already experiencing water shortages, yet the nation's population will increase by 100 million people in just thirty years if we do not change course," said Diana Hull, the organization's President.

Low rainfall this spring led some water districts in California to institute mandatory rationing, and other districts have called for voluntary reductions. Politicians have responded with proposals for new, but often environmentally destructive, water projects.

"In 1976 and 1977, California experienced much lower totals of rainfall than that of the last two years. Since then we have implemented a number of conservation measures so we should be in good shape. The difference is that California's population was 22 million in 1976 and today it is 38 million," continued Hull.

A Census Bureau report indicates that the U.S. population will rise to 439 million by 2050, or 135 million more than today. More than 80 percent of U.S. population growth will continue to be a direct result of immigration and births to immigrants. In California -- where the population increases by a half million per year -- that immigration component accounts for virtually 100 percent of the growth.

"Water is a precious resource, and as with other resources, we must learn to use it more efficiently. But we must also limit the demands that we place on our resources, and that means limiting immigration as well," Hull said.

The ad campaign is part of a long-term effort by CAPS and its partners in America's Leadership Team for Long Range Population-Immigration-Resource Planning to raise public consciousness about population growth and its effects on environmental problems. CAPS is a nonprofit organization that promotes policies designed to stabilize the population of California and the United States at a level that will protect resources and promote a good quality of life for all.

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