Running Dry

What is one thing every single living thing needs to survive?  Water.  This article says that people are depleting the fresh water sources faster than they can be replenished.  This article also mentions that agriculture is largely to blame for this.  Some of the statistics are almost unbelievable.  Groundwater use has almost tripled in the last 50 years and it would take 54 more times as much rainfall as it now receives to replenish it at the rate we are using it.  In Australia, the water source is being depleted by not only agriculture, but also by illegal bores.  This area has such low rainfall that once that once this water is drained, it is gone.  The key challenge that come from this is how are we going to manage to feed the rising population and at the same time manage the fresh water resources?  I can’t say I have any ideas, but I know that is a major problem in the world today.  I think that eventually with our technology and brains, that we will think of something to help protect our fresh water resources.

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2 responses to “Running Dry

  1. Tori, thanks for posting about the urgent problem of fresh water. Many commentators think that access to clean water will be the single biggest problem of the 21st century, since, as you point out, every living thing needs it to survive — and needs it urgently. However, I am not sure which article you are referring to. Did you mean to include a link?

    Also, you admit that you don’t have any ideas about how to manage our fresh water resources. That’s certainly understandable, given the scope of the problem! But perhaps you could do a little more digging into the topic and see what sorts of ideas other people, or institutions, have proposed. For example, since agriculture is responsible for so much of our water use, are there ways of farming that use less water, or that use water more efficiently? Which crops and food sources are the most water-intensive? Perhaps in the future we will all have to make some significant changes in what we eat. How much of a difference could that make?

  2. Oops! I’m sorry, Tori — for some reason I didn’t catch on that the article you were discussing was one of the Earth Island Journal pieces. Please ignore that part of my comment!

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