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Will water replace oil as the next generations’ global crisis?
By admin February 14, 2015

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Oil has built modern civilization faster than any other resource known and used by mankind. It has built our skyscrapers and our cities, brought us closer to the sky, and used in every aspect of our daily lives. But as any other natural resource, it suffers from scarcity and volatile price changes, all because of its continual abuse by our species and by the biggest offenders of environmental degradation.

There is another natural resource that is now causing some concerns. Many scientist and experts now argue that water, not oil, will be the next global crisis facing generations ahead of us. It’s a scary thought, only because it is the most essential resource known to us—covering 70% of the earth’s surface and making up 60% of our own bodies. And like oil, it is our lifeline; and like oil, it is abused in quantities that drain this finite resource, raising unease of the consequences water scarcity would bring about.

And indeed the consequences of water scarcity are already being felt by our generation. In many regions of the world, the lack of sufficient available water resources is barley meeting the demands of water usage from local populations. According to the United Nations (UN) around 1.2 billion people (one-fifth of the world population) inhabit areas with little access or none at all. And this number will only increase, with 1.8 people predicted to reside in areas distressed by water scarcity by 2025, coupled with the population increase that will see this planet being called home for 9 billion people.

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Source: World Water Development Report 4. World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), March 2012.

“The Aral Sea in central Asia was once the world’s fourth largest freshwater lake,” the World Wide Fund (WWF) points out, “But in only three decades, the sea has lost an area the size of Lake Michigan.” Excessive pollution and the transference of water for industry, irrigation and power generation has left this essential compound to be as salty as the water we find in our oceans–and has damaged our ecosystems in almost every continent in the world. As a result, “This ecological catastrophe has created food shortages and resulted in a rise in infant mortality and a decrease in life expectancy for the nearby population,” says the WWF.

From California to New Zealand, headline around the world are capturing this crisis, with reports this week showing Brazil experiencing its worst drought in history. The most populous city in South America, São Paulo, has been affected the worst, as blackouts and food shortages have prompted many, especially the poor, to take to the streets to express their frustration.

Indeed, the UN has addressed this issue by tacking this resource to each of the eight objectives outlined under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). However, if we don’t begin to take water seriously, we might be paying more than we do now at the pump.

For more information:

Time: This Plant in Dubai Makes Half a Billion Gallons of Fresh Water a Day

WWF: Water Scarcity

The Guardian: Brazil’s worst drought in history prompts protests and blackouts

CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)

Economonitor: Living with Water Scarcity: A Refreshing Take on a Hot-Button Issue


Thanks for sharing !


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