"Demand for water in agriculture and energy production could spike in the coming decades while catastrophic floods and droughts strike more often, a water conference in Canada is to hear this week...Within a generation, water demand in many countries is forecast to exceed supply by an estimated 40 percent..."
Water, like oil, is taken for granted in that it is now a vital cog in the process of virtually everything we use, eat and consume. Not only is the Western 'Civilised' world consuming excessive amounts of water in our daily lives but another major impact we make is on waters ability to move from resevoir to resevoir (a resevoir being a process that water moves through such as stream, to ocean, to cloud, to rain and back to the soil and so on) by the very nature of our 'concrete jungles'. There are less and less people with gardens, off road parking problems generally lead to people having what garden space they do have slabbed to get their vehicles off road. More and more roads, more land being churned up for building projects, all these things have an impact on waters ability to move around resevoirs.
Hans Schreier called for improved road and street designs to minimize rainwater runoff.
"Until now, all we've ever done in urban environments is to drain everything into rivers and lakes," he told AFP.
"But curbs, drains and impermeable surfaces could be replaced where possible with grassy shoulder depressions that collect and absorb rainwater while directing excess runoff into constructed wetlands or storm water retention ponds"Other low-cost innovations might include "home driveway designs and materials that allow most precipitation to be absorbed instead of running onto streets and roads" he said.
"In other parts of the world prone to flooding, catastrophic floods normally expected once a century could occur every 20 years instead.
Meanwhile, spending on technologies and services to discover, manage, filter, disinfect and desalinate water, improve infrastructure and distribution, mitigate flood damage and reduce water consumption by households, industry and agriculture is expected to rise to a trillion dollars annually by 2020..."
What is needed is a better, more scientific approach to the construction of our cities, homes and roadways that helps to harness and channel the elements around us. Water is being viewed in some peoples minds as the 'next big thing'. Without it we cannot not survive. Will they find a way to tax us through the teeth for this as their processes for making oil pollute more and more of our fresh water supplies? One thing is sure, the number of people on water meters in the UK is on the increase and is likely to continue to rise for the forseeable future.
Another Issue is bottled water (something WE the people have helped to turn into a 2billion pound industry!) Water is being put in plastic containers, constructed from the by-product of oil processes (PTE or RPTE if it has been recycled-check the bottom of your next bottle of water) and moved hundreds of miles away from its villagers who rely on their aquifers (natural water sources underground) to water crops, feed livestock and to drink, wash and clean themselves and their children. It is said that we are mining these ground waters faster, by upto 15 times, than they can be replenished...enjoy that Evian!
It is said that we are pumping approx 30billion gallons of water from aquifers everyday...for example ''350,000 litres on the construction of an average car, 2-7 barrels of water per 1 barrel of oil, 32 liters on 1 micro chip..." Blue Gold-Water Wars.
If you have yourself a spare 60 Earth minutes I would point you to a documentary called 'Blue Gold-Water Wars' which documents this very problem in a simple way. (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/blue-gold-world-water-wars/)
20 years ago a famous little man named 'Del Trotter' bottled water from taps and sold it back to the public, we all thought this was funny....who's laughing now...?
Quotes are taken from The Independent, March 1st 2011