Recycled water. Traffic nightmares even worse than today's. Agriculture almost dead as an industry. Lines of high-rise buildings. No one knows what the Inland area will look like in 2043, the year the nation is expected to add its 400 millionth resident, but experts agree on one thing: It will be radically different from today.
"Recycled water" is a polite term for ALL household water being reprocessed for repeat use, as described in a 2000 Salon futurist snapshot, L.A. to serve toilet water.
David Czamanske of the Sierra Club told Los Angeles' Daily News, "The water that we drink every day has been around for millions of years and circulated through who knows what — dinosaurs, black bears and panthers. The water becomes purified through natural processes or it can be purified through reclamation processes." But Lori Dinkin, president of the Valley Village Homeowners Association, said, "This is human waste. I'm very uneasy about that."
But hey, the future is now. The San Fernando Valley is full steam ahead with its "toilet to tap" program to meet "the needs of the surging population." Unlimited growth is good for the economy we hear, and recyled toilet water is hailed by its advocates as a sign of progress. Orange County residents have apparently been convinced that reclamation makes them "drought proof."
Bear in mind that the Census has 2043 targeted as the year in which the American odometer will flip over another hundred million. That's 37 years in the future.
However, if US population growth continues at the rate of the 1990s (13.1 percent per decade), the 400 million mark will arrive just 24 years from now by 2030. Do the math.