In 2007, Raleigh came close to being the largest city in North America to run out of water. Unless there is a severe drought, water supply is not a front page news story. However, North Carolina’s water challenges are many - conflicts between users rely on individual lawsuits, very few places in the state can build new reservoirs, and regulation makes it difficult to move large quantities of water from one basin to another. With North Carolina poised to become the 7th largest state by 2030, measures must be put in place to guard against future shortages. While North Carolina and Research Triangle Park still have abundant water most of the time, North Carolina’s water laws should be modernized before our water allocation problems become too politically hard to solve. The southeastern United States has historically relied on its abundant precipitation, but institutions and incentives need to be used to ensure adequate water supplies.