Home | About | Donate

'Biggest Crisis No One Is Talking About': Quarter of Humanity Faces 'Extremely High Water Stress' Intensified by Climate Emergency

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/06/biggest-crisis-no-one-talking-about-quarter-humanity-faces-extremely-high-water

When we read the list of high water stress and see countries that are hot spots of tension, conflict as in the Middle East, and when we consider how far we are from human solidarity it must send shudders down our collective spine.


Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water withdrawal.
Extreme water stress:


Countries like this:

Another example of possible water crisis:


Plenty of water where I live. Thus, to people of Arizona I say: hell naw.

1 Like

The grass is always greener from the SkepticTank!

1 Like

Thank you for your polite concern.

1 Like

And this:

You live in a dessert. Are we supposed to ship our resources to you so you can continue an otherwise unsustainable lifestyle? Not gonna happen. I’d start lobbying local officials to start building that desalinization plant sooner rather than later. It’s only going to get hotter, friend.

1 Like

Cotton uses massive amounts of water and chemicals that contaminate water .
Use Hemp instead always been a much stronger and longer lasting material for clothing .
Go vegetarian or vegan .You could float a destroyer on the amount of water used by the meat industry in turning one steer into food.

Nearly half of all the water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for food. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to* produce just 1 pound of meat , but it takes just 25 gallons to grow 1 pound of wheat. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!


Hi Hemp:
Isn’t hemp in our paper money too? Even Washington and the early colonial Americans raised hemp. And yes, Hemp is a multiuse product, so then all those states trying to force schools into saying “In God We Trust,” those states should rethink that. “In Hemp We Trust,” makes more sense. Hemp is used for ropes, clothing, medicine, in cooking and for other, as a pure recreational use-----all those uses make more sense to say, " In Hemp We Trust.". : )

If you can donate money or time to organizations addressing water issues, these are highly rated by Charity Navigator and others: Water.org, Safe Water Network, Water for People, Geos Institute, World Resources Institute, Global Water Challenge, International Water Management Institute, Charity: Water, Water for South Sudan, etc.

When China took over Tibet, the rest of the world said, “Who cares.” Now the headwaters for all of Southeast Asia are being channeled into Western China for agriculture leaving the Me Kong as nothing but a muddy ditch at times. What happens when they decide to also deprive Western India of water The next world war will be over water not oil.

1 Like

Not to pretend that politics will not continue to be involved, but water shortage is a problem whose immediate solutions are mostly local and mechanical. Western society blunders on by shipping food and transporting water across great distances. Solving the water crisis and energy crisis will involve drastically reducing both.

Los Angeles is a particularly well known example of what to not do.

In the early 20th Century, the city pumped its aquifers so low that the ocean began seeping into the groundwater. And so the aqueduct system was set up to provide hydroelectrics and water via the aqueducts, all through a couple large producers, who received the resources for free and for a regulated profit.

Given advanced systems of re-use and a modicum of care, Los Angeles rainfall within city limits would be adequate for the population outside of its more severe droughts.These involve rain gutters, storage tanks (or converted swimming pools), and a sequence of re-use of water within the house and finally outside, to xeric plants (Michael Reynolds and Earthship biotecture have explored the sequence extensively; Art Ludwig of Oasis Design explains the patterns for greywater use very well, and there are now many more in the field).

LA sits on a coastal floodplain between the mountains and the sea. Floods were avoided by speeding rainfall and sewage into the ocean, where it solves nothing and causes problems. To a small degree, this has changed. With the entire flood infrastructure redone as it should be, rainwater would be slowed, spread, and sunk into the soil, where it would green the landscape, reduce fire dangers, and eventually recharge the aquifers beneath the metropolis.

A superb example of this is Village Homes in Davis California, an early permaculture site. The neighborhood is lush with food, much of which can be accessed by locals free of charge. It is sitting on its own perched aquifer. And in a recent flood, the city of Davis just opened the swale system at Village Homes to releive the flood in the rest of the city.

We may contrast this to the vast commercial systems that are rapidly killing their natural support. The soil is dead across much of the San Joaquin, Imperial, and Coachella Valleys in California. The water is reduced from every place that it is piped and run through canals. Water is lost and toxins built up as it is run overland. Political entities where water is received have interests different from those from where it is pumped, so the system supports empire.

And it is not necessary.

However, it is unlikely that government or corporate interests will resolve it simply because it requires decentralized action.

1 Like

The water wars are coming. Just like wars for oil, start expecting the U.S. to ‘bring freedom and democracy’ to countries with fresh water sources. Of course the citizens won’t see any of that. We will be given poisoned water, like Flint STILL has by the way, if any water at all.

1 Like

I like that as it’s part of life it’s part of what some call God .
Hemp can substitute for so many nonrewneable resources for a tenth of the cost.
There’s the catch someone loses money for the common good to be put in place .

That was stated a long time ago.

Here in AZ we have been storing water underground for decades.

1 Like

Yes, but that storage is only going to get you so far:

maybe its a “people longage” rather than “watershortage?”
Really, though everything including water supply can be better managed, ever increasing populations (another billion in about 12 years, then another billion…) inevitably collides with finite resources. That the left and right mostly want to ignore this doesn’t make it go away.