Water Shortages

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Post by Mordae on Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:30 am

Found this very good article by Lester R. Brown, from the Earth Policy Institute at
http://permaculturenews.org/2013/07/...ry/#more-10265

It's worth reading some of the comments to the article as well.
Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water.

We drink on average four liters of water per day, in one form or another, but the food we eat each day requires 2,000 liters of water to produce, or 500 times as much. Getting enough water to drink is relatively easy, but finding enough to produce the ever-growing quantities of grain the world consumes is another matter.

Grain consumed directly supplies nearly half of our calories. That consumed indirectly as meat, milk, and eggs supplies a large part of the remainder. Today roughly 40 percent of the world grain harvest comes from irrigated land. It thus comes as no surprise that irrigation expansion has played a central role in tripling the world grain harvest over the last six decades.

During the last half of the twentieth century, the world’s irrigated area expanded from close to 250 million acres (100 million hectares) in 1950 to roughly 700 million in 2000. This near tripling of world irrigation within 50 years was historically unique. But since then the growth in irrigation has come to a near standstill, expanding only 10 percent between 2000 and 2010.

In looking at water and our future, we face many questions and few answers. Could the world be facing peak water? Or has it already peaked?...

and a couple more points of interest here...

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/25-shocking-facts-about-the-earths-dwindling-water-resources
...#1 Right now, 1.6 billion people live in areas of the world that are facing "absolute water scarcity".

#2 Global water use has quadrupled over the past 100 years and continues to rise rapidly.

#3 One recent study found that a third of all global corn crops are facing "water stress".

#4 A child dies from a water-related disease every 15 seconds.

#5 By 2025, two-thirds of the population of Earth will "be living under water stressed conditions".

#6 Due to a lack of water, Chinese food imports now require more land than the entire state of California.

#7 At this point, the amount of water that China imports is already greater than the amount of oil that the United States imports.

#8 Approximately 80 percent of the major rivers in China have become so polluted that they no longer support any aquatic life at all.

#9 The Great Lakes hold about 21 percent of the total supply of fresh water in the entire world, but Barack Obama is allowing water from those lakes "to be drained, bottled and shipped to China" at a frightening pace.

#10 It is being projected that India will essentially "run out of water" by the year 2050.

#11 It has been estimated that 75 percent of all surface water in India has been heavily contaminated by human or agricultural waste.

#12 In the Middle East, the flow of water in the Jordan River is down to only 2 percent of its historic rate.

#13 Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has essentially given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

#14 Of the 60 million people added to the major cities of the world every year, the vast majority of them live in deeply impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

#15 Nearly the entire southwestern United States is experiencing drought conditions as you read this article. It has been this way for most of the past several years.

#16 Thanks in part to the seemingly endless drought, the price index for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs in the U.S. just hit a new all-time high.

#17 As underground aquifers are relentlessly drained in California, some areas of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking by 11 inches a year.

#18 It is being projected that Lake Mead has a 50 percent chance of running dry by the year 2025.

#19 Most Americans don't realize this, but the once mighty Colorado River has become so depleted that it no longer runs all the way to the ocean.

#20 According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie" has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940, and it is currently being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

#21 Once upon a time, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is already completely gone.

#22 Approximately 40 percent of all rivers and approximately 46 percent of all lakes in the United States have become so polluted that they are are no longer fit for human use.

#23 Because of the high cost and the inefficient use of energy, desalination is not considered to be a widely feasible solution to our water problems at this time...

The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere is currently under construction in Carlsbad in San Diego County at great expense. The price tag: $1 billion.

Right now, San Diego is almost totally dependent on imported water from Sierra snowmelt and the Colorado River. When the desalination plant comes online in 2016, it will produce 50 million gallons per day, enough to offset just 7 percent of the county’s water usage. That’s a huge bill for not very much additional water.
#24 We have filled the North Pacific Ocean with 100 million tons of plastic, and this is starting to have a very serious affect on the marine food chain. Ultimately, this could mean a lot less food available from the Pacific Ocean for humans.

#25 One very shocking U.S. government report concluded that the global demand for water will exceed the global supply of water by 40 percent by the year 2030...
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Post by Lenzabi on Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Now, also add in the pollution from fracking that has taken place and less drinking water is to be had.

Human mismanagement means we will see massive famines and droughts

I am glad I do not have kids to pass this sad news to, or have to answer their questions as to how this could have happened.

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Post by Mordae on Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:11 pm

Aye...a lot of people have apparently never heard the term "crapping in your own nest".
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Post by Rockhopper on Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:52 am

Yep. Next war is over water.

We're cool here but can we protect our water supply?

Tim.
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Post by Lenzabi on Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:33 am

America oddly enough is allowing vast sums of fresh water to be sold off to China as China's waterways are lethal now, and their food supply is also contaminated heavily. May explain why my Sister-in-Law is unable to bear children with my brother, she is from China, and I bet a chemical load test would have a shocking reveal

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Post by X on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:00 am

Water will cause wars very soon

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Post by Lenzabi on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:20 am

Aquarius aka Whitmore wrote:Water will cause wars very soon

Mostly from lack of drinkable waters. I really need to get me some life water filters

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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:22 am

Zero water shortages here.....

Water Shortages 4022892_G

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Post by Lenzabi on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:24 am

Nations with a lack of water though, even states fight over water rights
The issue is not abundance of any water, it is what is there to drink and farm with?

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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:31 am

Nothing new, Phoenix is still located in a desert.

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Post by X on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:33 am

Never ever see irrigation set UPS here...but...you can see them now

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Post by Mordae on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:09 pm

@Rockhopper wrote:Yep. Next war is over water.

We're cool here but can we protect our water supply?

Tim.

TBH Tim, I'm not even sure if we're cool  scratch  Yes we have a fair amount of fresh water, but a brief look through the various Council warnings tells us that a lot of them are massively polluted through Farm runoff, assorted dioxins, toxic algae etc.

We may be able to protect our water supply, but we won't know until we start.
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Post by X on Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:18 pm

What do you all have...wells or other?

I have a country well.....quite a difference from the city water

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Post by Rockhopper on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:03 am

@Mordae wrote:TBH Tim, I'm not even sure if we're cool  scratch   Yes we have a fair amount of fresh water, but a brief look through the various Council warnings tells us that a lot of them are massively polluted through Farm runoff, assorted dioxins, toxic algae etc.

We may be able to protect our water supply, but we won't know until we start.

I was thinking of Fiordland Mordman. 35m of rain per year down there, when it rains it's like standing under a waterfall!  Shocked There was talk a few years ago about shipping some of it to Aussie.

We have artesian wells here in Christchurch Aqua/Mr.W. My well comes up to about 1' above the surrounding ground.

Tim.
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Post by Lenzabi on Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:05 am

Desert cities will be the first top feel it, and already are. Instead of lawns, folks are replacing with rock/sand and pebble gardens which do not need water. Water restrictions means that they must wash clothes and themselves less often. water will need filters.

The drinking water is also used by farms for irrigation as well as animal water to drink.

Factories really should think of recycling water they use, yes,m many manufacturers use water as part of their process,and the water they exude is polluted

there are many ways that water which is easy to filter and treat for drinking is used and mismanaged for other uses which also dwindles what is drinkable.

Tear down forests, you soon have desert, why? because thirsty tress call on the clouds to come douse them (Nat geo article)

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Post by Rockhopper on Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:22 pm

Yep Len. Trees do collect rain. They also store a lot of water. And transpire a lot too.

In Vietnam the jungle there is dense and by the middle of the afternoon the air is dripping with water from the vegetation. Had to keep our rifles very clean especially the autos! They would clog up and stop working! Not a good look in a war zone!  Shocked 

Trees also slow down the rain and stop flash flooding.

Tim.
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Post by Lenzabi on Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:46 pm

Trees are a major component of the biosphere, even with the mass extinctions, we still have 5 major plant families that have seen it all.

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Post by Mordae on Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:29 am

@Rockhopper wrote:
@Mordae wrote:TBH Tim, I'm not even sure if we're cool  scratch   Yes we have a fair amount of fresh water, but a brief look through the various Council warnings tells us that a lot of them are massively polluted through Farm runoff, assorted dioxins, toxic algae etc.

We may be able to protect our water supply, but we won't know until we start.

I was thinking of Fiordland Mordman. 35m of rain per year down there, when it rains it's like standing under a waterfall!  Shocked There was talk a few years ago about shipping some of it to Aussie.

We have artesian wells here in Christchurch Aqua/Mr.W. My well comes up to about 1' above the surrounding ground.

Tim.

 Laughing Fair enough, but it might be a bit far to pipe to my neck of the woods  Very Happy 

@ Mr W - We're on Town Water here, but I've got roughly 1000 litres of rain water spread across a couple of ponds and barrels, and plans, materials and filters to get water from the river which is about 50m away if need be.
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Post by Mordae on Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:37 am

@Lenzabi wrote:Desert cities will be the first top feel it, and already are. Instead of lawns, folks are replacing with rock/sand and pebble gardens which do not need water. Water restrictions means that they must wash clothes and themselves less often. water will need filters.

The drinking water is also used by farms for irrigation as well as animal water to drink.

Factories really should think of recycling water they use, yes,m many manufacturers use water as part of their process,and the water they exude is polluted

there are many ways that water which is easy to filter and treat for drinking is used and mismanaged for other uses which also dwindles what is drinkable.

Tear down forests, you soon have desert, why? because thirsty trees call on the clouds to come douse them (Nat geo article)

Very true Len, this Permaculture Design Course has an entire chapter dedicated to the beneficial properties of forests.

Thing is, if it's done correctly, you can turn arid desert back into productive woodland with its own micro-climate




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Post by Rogue on Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:42 am

@Lenzabi wrote:Desert cities will be the first top feel it, and already are. Instead of lawns, folks are replacing with rock/sand and pebble gardens which do not need water.

Yes, we're sort of desert here and now we see that bloody awful plastic grass getting laid  Rolling Eyes 
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