Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The coming water wars

with 2 comments

Michael Specter writes in the New Yorker:

Angry protesters filled the streets of Karachi last week, clogging traffic lanes and public squares until police and paratroopers were forced to intervene. That’s not rare in Pakistan, which is often a site of political and religious violence.

But last week’s protests had nothing to do with freedom of expression, drone wars, or Americans. They were about access to water. When Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Minister of Defense, Power, and Water (yes, that is one ministry), warned that the country’s chronic water shortages could soon become uncontrollable, he was looking on the bright side. The meagre allotment of water available to each Pakistani is a third of what it was in 1950. As the country’s population rises, that amount is falling fast.

Dozens of other countries face similar situations—not someday, or soon, but now. Rapid climate change, population growth, and a growing demand for meat (and, thus, for the water required to grow feed for livestock) have propelled them into a state of emergency. Millions of words have been written, and scores of urgent meetings have been held, since I last wrote about this issue for the magazine, nearly a decade ago; in that time, things have only grown worse.

The various physical calamities that confront the world are hard to separate, but growing hunger and the struggle to find clean water for billions of people are clearly connected. Each problem fuels others, particularly in the developing world—where the harshest impact of natural catastrophes has always been felt. Yet the water crisis challenges even the richest among us.

California is now in its fourth year of drought, staggering through its worst dry spell in twelve hundred years; farmers have sold their herds, and some have abandoned crops. Cities have begun rationing water. According to the London-based organization Wateraid, water shortages are responsible for more deaths in Nigeria than Boko Haram; there are places in India where hospitals have trouble finding the water required to sterilize surgical tools.

Nowhere, however, is the situation more acute than in . . .

Continue reading. As pointed out later in the article:

There are ways to replace oil, gas, and coal, though we won’t do that unless economic necessity demands it. But there isn’t a tidy and synthetic invention to replace water. Conservation would help immensely, as would a more rational use of agricultural land—irrigation today consumes seventy per cent of all freshwater.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 February 2015 at 4:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Droughts will certainly be a part of our future, like it or not.

    With more and more of us on this rock each day, our diminishing water resources’ are being stretched even further.

    The worsening effects of climate change make the problem larger than is really evident.

    Whilst we must leave the question of supply in the hands of our political masters, each of us must do our best to contain our usage.

    Government must also help with the question of demand, as shown in this cartoon . . . .

    https://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-910

    Cheers
    Mick

    cartoonmick

    24 February 2015 at 7:13 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.

    Brian Dead Rift Webb

    24 February 2015 at 11:23 pm


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