Saturday, January 23, 2010

Water, the Ultimate Resource

What is the true threat facing humanity? Not Global Warming. Not Overpopulation. Not Nuclear Winter. Not AIDS. The real threat is having too little clean water. There's plenty of water. Far more than humans will ever need. But most of it is undrinkable.

Fortunately, supplies of drinkable water are easily increased. Modern nations are experts when it comes to cleaning water. And Nature is a big help. But people live virtually everywhere on the globe and some of those places have limited supplies of drinkable water.

We can supply water anywhere. But unless a country has a government that operates for the benefit of the people, existing supplies are likely to fall short. As they do in Haiti, most of Africa and in many nations around the world.

As a result, some pundits predict trouble tied to water is ahead.

Water Shortage May Bring Wars, Epidemics, Famine:

Jan. 23 -- Son of a shipwright and architect, James Watt started tinkering with instruments as a teenager.

In 1763 he was asked to repair a model of the Newcomen engine at the University of Glasgow and came up with the modern steam engine.

Watt’s invention jump-started the industrial revolution, as the latent power of water was exploited for industry, agriculture, trade, travel, communication and war. It also led to the growth of great cities, as water for drinking, cooking and sanitation became readily available.

Now the world is facing a crisis: As fresh water becomes increasingly scarce and the human population continues to expand, we will likely see war, failed states, famine, genocide, epidemics and mass migrations.

I spoke with Steven Solomon, author of “Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization” (Harper), on the following topics:

1. More Precious Than Oil

2. Hydraulic Civilizations

3. Seminal Invention

4. China’s Achilles’ Heel

5. America’s Water Wealth

Abject water poverty is rampant in Haiti. Nearly half of all Haitians are among the world’s 1 billion without satisfactory access to clean drinking water; over two-thirds are counted in the 2.6 billion without adequate sanitation.

Only one-fourth of city dwellers have plumbing connections, and service is unreliable. Each day means foraging for enough water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning from water tanks, street vendors, and wells, by illegally tapping water mains, and as a last resort, drawing from unclean streams and ditches. Water is the main source of Haiti’s terrible illness and mortality rates — average life expectancy is only 53.

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Blogger SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Water! How Often Do We Think About

Thank you. - reb

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Water is the answer to all our problems. I'm gonna take a shower and then drinks a gallon or two! Thanks!

10:44 PM  

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