Today, at the advent of a new millenium, the United States has been forced to undertake a critical reexamination of national security policies. Water resource management, although not traditionally at the vanguard of such issues, is increasingly recognized around the world as a crucial aspect of national security. While the United States does not presently top the list of water-scarce countries, an examination of the available data casts into question the security of water resources in the future. Water use trends in the United States indicate that the country will soon face a crisis in both water quality and water quantity unless current policies and practices are amended.
This problem-based technology assessment seeks to analyze the impacts of agricultural water use in the United States and to propose solutions to effectively manage agricultural water resources. The goals of this assessment are as follows: