O'Melveny Insights 2023

22 Water wars—fought for centuries in the American West—are now raging across the country, as states and water users battle over diminishing supplies. In 2022, 85% of the nation suffered abnormally dry or drought conditions. Climate change is at least part of the reason, raising the specter of even worse shortages in the future. Not only are droughts more frequent and more severe, but higher temperatures are also reducing snow fall, increasing evaporation, and generating greater demand even as supplies decline. 06