Here Come The Drinking Water Shortages In The United States?

(by Half Dollar) We’ve been covering the problems with the supply chain for some time, but now, supply chain disruptions are affecting things in ways that people may not have anticipated.

For example, reports are coming in that now clean water itself is at risk.

That is, having clean water.

Yes, in the United States, the water supply is under threat.

Please excused the redundancy, for I’m just attempting to show that for a gazillion reasons, which now include the water supply, America won’t be getting back to normal anytime soon.

Entire systems we take for granted are under severe strain.

Here’s more on the CO2 shortage, from The Guardian (bold added for emphasis)

An emerging shortage of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) caused by the coronavirus pandemic may affect food supply chains and drinking water, a Washington state emergency planning document has revealed.

The document, a Covid-19 situation report produced by the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), contains a warning from the state’s office of drinking water (ODW) about difficulties in obtaining CO2, which is essential for the process of water treatment.

The document says that the ODW is “still responding to [that day’s] notification of a national shortage of CO2”.

It continues: “Several [water plants] had received initial notification from their vendors that their supply would be restricted to 33% of normal.

It further warns: “So far utilities have been able to make the case that they are considered essential to critical infrastructure and have been returned to full supply. However, we want to ask if CISA [the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] can assess this through their contacts, if this is sustainable given the national shortage.”

Asked to clarify the nature of this problem, ODW director Mike Means said in an email that his agency had first learned of potential problems when Seattle public utilities were “contacted by their vendor Airgas who supplied a copy of a Force Majeure notice”, warning them that their CO2 order would be reduced due to pandemic-related shortages.

Force majeure is a contractual defense that allows parties to escape liability for contracts in the case of events – such as a pandemic – that could not be reasonably foreseen.

So, fresh off the presses, we’re learning about a national shortage of CO2.

Wonderful.

Does this mean there may not be enough clean, fresh drinking water available?

Time will tell on that front, but Fox News is coming to the conclusion that before we have to worry about the water supply itself, we may first have to contend with flat beer and flat soda:

People that hate flat soda and beer may need to brace themselves.

The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have affected many industries and have sparked temporary shortages in many products, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Now, an unexpected impact from the outbreak may cause a shortage of carbonated beverages.

Due to a lack of demand for ethanol, CO2 suppliers are having trouble keeping up with the demand, Reuters reports. According to the report, CO2 gas is captured during the production of ethanol and then sold in large quantities to the food and beverage industry.

Notice this little nugget within the Fox News article, however:

According to Reuters, CO2 suppliers have already increased prices by about 25 percent.

One can only wonder: Who’s going to eat those costs?