Water scarcity in the Western part of the country will be a pressing issue in 2013, predicts the General Accounting Office, and population growth fueled by high levels of immigration are partly to blame. In 2003, the GAO issued a report warning that by 2013 at least 36 states could face water shortages. But, states have been dealing with chronic water shortages for years with California, New Mexico and Arizona topping the list- proving that conditions are worse than the GAO's 2003 predictions.

Drought conditions, an ever-drying Colorado River, and rapid population growth fueled by immigration in the West is to blame for the water scarcities. A report by Columbia University predicts the Colorado River will lose 10 percent of its water flow over the next thirty years.  Currently, this river supplies water to 40 million people living in America's West. 

Population growth in these western states will occur faster than growth in other areas of the country, with high immigration numbers feeding the rapid growth.  Nineteen of the 26 states that grew faster this year compared to last year are located in the South and Western regions.  

California has the highest number of new green card recipients annually, with 2.2 million new green card recipients over the last decade.  It also has the highest illegal-alien population in the country, estimated at 2.8 million.  Arizona has the 9th largest illegal alien population and takes in 20,000 new green card recipients each year.

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Updated: Thu, Jan 17th 2013 @ 4:56pm EST