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Glass Half Empty: The Coming Water Wars

Glass HALF EMPTY DOES THE SOLUTION LIE BENEATH US? As lakes and rivers run dry and Earth's surface water disappears, the solution might lie beneath us, in the vast (and largely untapped) THE COMING WATER WARS network of underground aquifers, The United Nations cites over 23,400,000 km3 of water in aquifers, 547 times more than all of Earth's rivers combined 98% of Earth's accessible water is thought to reside in aquifers, much of it "fossil' water more than a million years old. Until recently deep aquifer pumping was out of the question (a cubic yard of water weighs one ton), but core-drilling technologies developed by the oil industry are changing the picture. Many of these aquifers span national borders, making access rights a huge matter of contention, and possibly a cause for future conflict. NUBIAN SANDSTONE AQUIFER Volume is 500000 times the annual GUARANI AQUIFER Could provide 100 liters of water a day to 5.5 billion people for 200 years flow of the Nile, but the desert climate above fails to replenish the aquifer 45 15 below, making aquifer pumping an unsustainable solution. 30 O- MAJOR AQUIFER EVERY MINUTE, 7 PEOPLE DIE FROM BAD WATER OR NO WATER WATER FOR THE PEOPLE 60% 1970 WARNING SIGNS In 1970, water oconsumption worldwide was half what is is today With 80% of all sickness in the developing world linked to polluted water, and with populations sharply on the rise, the urgency of water manage- ment became apparent Population and water distribution don't always correspond, often leaving highly populated regions with little access to water. This is most true in Asia, which has to support 60% of the world's population with only 36% of the world's water. A- PERCENTAGE OF GLOBAL WATER SUPPLY - PERCENTAGE OF GLOBAL POPULATION 13%13% 36% 26% 6% 15% 2003 DRY AND DIRTY 5 1% S. AMERICA Over 1.3 billion people have no access to clean water. At least ASIA N. AMERICA AFRICA EUROPE OCEANIA 22 million people die annually from diseases related to poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water - that's about 10,000 deaths from bad water (or no water) each day WILL THERE BE WAR? Of all the water on Earth, only 2.5% is fresh, and less than 0.007% is readily available to people through rivers, lakes, and streams. As worldwide populations surge, temperatures rise, climates change, and diseases spread, clean water will become ever more essential (and ever more rare). In 2000, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi 2025 PARCHED POPULACE Annan warned that national rivalries over water could harbor The United Nations estimates "the seeds of violent conflict Opinions are split on the likelihood of "Water Wars: In the past 50 years, there have been 1,831 that the work's per capita water supply will drop by 1/3 in the next 20 years. The worst water-related interactions between countries. Of these, the vast majority (1,228) ended peacefully. Only 21 involved actual military violence (18 between Israel and its neighbors). Furthermore, there are few places in the world where a water- poor country is in a military position to attack neighbor. Still, many experts believe that as water shortages become increasingly urgent, countries (or at least local communities) will resort to violence to quench their thirsts. strain will be in Africa and the Middle East, where populations are growing fast and rivers are running dry water-rich BEST WATER WORST WATER 1) Finland 1) Belgium 2) Morocco 2) Canada 3) New Zealand 4) United Kingdom WHO WILL HAVE THE WATER? I I O O O 3) India 4) Jordan 5) Sudan PERCENTAGE OF WORLD WATER SUPPLY BY NATURAL ECONOMIC REGION >20 10-20 5-10 2-5 1-2 <1 INA INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS ARCHIVE 5) Japan SOURCE - UNESCO SOURCES - UNITED NATIONS - MONTREAL GAZETTE - UNESCO - NEW YORK TIMES - INTER PRESS SERVICE MAP BY JONATHAN HARIS OF FLAMING TOAST PRO DUCTIONS

Glass Half Empty: The Coming Water Wars

shared by kevin on Mar 21
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Wars are fought over resources more than over any other cause. The one resource that we literally can not live without for more than 2 days will soon be in very short supply. As the population conti...

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