Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Water, water....

Water and the lack of it seem to be in the news. 
With the drought across much of the southern part of the UK and the consequent restricions.  With the loss of Arctic sea ice being linked to the colder, drier winters in the UK, it seems probable that this is now likely to be a frequent phenomenon.
Elsewhere, Colorado farmers were reportedly outbid for water by fracking companies.  and a US Intelligence report is prediction that by 2040, global demand for fresh water will outstrip supply by 40%, leading to use of water as a tool of political leverage or to actual conflict.  When you consider the impact of climate change on glacier fed rivers and the countries which depend on them such as Pakistan (nuclear armed) the seriousness of this becomes more apparent.  Russia seems to be aware of the political possibilities of this water shortage and appears to be making preparations to profit from it. 
With much of the agriculture parts of  India and in parts of the US dependent on groundwater which is being used faster than it can replenish.  With more meat consumption, (one kilo of beef "drinks" an estimated 15,000 litres of water) the strain on water supply is increasing. 
We in the UK often seem to take clean fresh water for granted, I was horrified recently while watching Channel 4 news to see a representative from Thames Water saying that they were commited to trying to help their customers reduce their consumption from 150 litres per person per day to 120 litres per person per day!  When one contrasts this with the situation in sub-Saharan Africa it is quite appaling. 

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