VISTA, Calif. — Speaking before the annual meeting of the National Association of Real Estate Editors held in Houston, Texas, Hugh F. Kelly, a professor of real estate at New York University and chairman of the Counselors of Real Estate, presented a "Top 10" list of issues that are expected to impact the real estate industry both in the near future and long-term, according to a press release.

While many of the issues, such as energy, jobs, healthcare and the continuing impact of globalization were listed and given high priority, delegated to number six in order of concerns was water, stated the release.

"Maybe water is down on the list for the near term, but it shouldn't be," wrote Richard Mize, real estate editor for The Oklahoman newspaper. "After all, we've probably got 10 or 15 years left before the dust starts hitting the fan."

To justify his rationale, Mize reminded his readers that groundwater depletion from 2000 to 2008 was three times greater than the average rate of depletion for the past 100 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

He also added that 780 million people are currently without clean water; 2.5 billion have no modern sanitation; and 3 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related issues, noted the release.