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During a time when technology is constantly changing and becoming more advanced, one of the constants that our planet, and all of the creatures on it, will always rely upon is fresh water. Throughout history, rivers have been the lifeblood that supports cities by providing drinking water, irrigation, transportation, trade, recreation, power, and many other industrial and domestic uses. As the human population grows, rivers and lakes are more pressured to support the growing needs of the communities and cities that rely on these bodies of water. Because many rivers in the United States flow across numerous states, problems develop when different states have different needs concerning the same river.

Typically, the western states have had more disputes concerning the usage of rivers because of the scarcity of water in the region and the vast amount of land that relies on that water. The eastern states are located in a more humid environment that receives a larger amount of rainfall; consequently, they have more fresh water at their disposal. However, as the population in the eastern states continues to grow and rivers are more strained, eastern states are beginning to encounter the same water problems as the western states.