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Some 1.2 billion people—almost one fifth of the world—live in areas of physical water scarcity, while another 1.6 billion face what can be called economic water shortage. The situation is only expected to worsen as population growth, climate change, investment and management shortfalls, and inefficient use of existing resources restrict the amount of water available to people. It is estimated that by 2025 fully 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, with almost half of the world living in conditions of water stress.

Agriculture is the most water-intensive sector, currently accounting for more than 70 percent of consumptive use. Agricultural water withdrawal accounts for 44 percent of total water withdrawal among members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but this rises to more than 60 percent within the eight OECD countries that rely heavily on irrigated agriculture. In the four transitional economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, agriculture accounts for 74 percent of water withdrawals, but this ranges from 20 percent in the Russia to 87 percent in India.

The full story on water scarcity below the fold.

While the growing world population is increasing the pressure on land and water resources, economic growth and individual wealth are shifting people from predominantly starch-based diets to meat and dairy, which require more water. Producing 1 kilogram of rice, for example, requires about 3,500 liters of water, while 1 kilogram of beef needs some 15,000 liters. This dietary shift has had the greatest impact on water consumption over the past 30 years and is likely to continue well into the middle of this century, according to FAO.

The U.S. has the second greatest per capita meat consumption, after Luxembourg, and since it is also one of the largest exporters of animal feed globally its water use for animal agriculture is 50 percent of its total water use!

Leading water scientists from the The Stockholm International Water Institute are issuing a warning that food shortages in the future will dictate a global transition to vegetarian diets by 2050.

"Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world," the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world's arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NYC is presently experiencing the worst (5+ / 0-)

    drought than I have seen in my lifetime.
    It is turning into a desert.  Oddly, not a peep from the home paper.

    •  new york state dept of environmental conservation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freelunch, R30A, alwaysquestion, radarlady

      says there is not a drought.

      What are you basing your statement upon?

      fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

      by mollyd on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:12:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  underestimate (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, akmk, VL Baker, jilikins, Sylv

      I see this map and I wonder where the data comes from.   For instance, much of Texas, and even I see NY state, is under abnormally dry drought conditions.  This is not a drought, but bods ill for the future.  In Texas this is an issue because of population growth.

      I also notice that Colombia is not listed as a problem, yet the Cundinamarca department has a large cattle industry(Milk Capital of Colombia) as well as a growing flower industry.  Like 90% of all roses come from Colombia and Ecuador.  I am told that even as far back as 80 years ago people stole water by secretly moving the irrigation gates.  Today there are areas with very limited potable water.   It is not so bad because there are only about 40 million people, and the density is that Washington state or Texas.

      But still, I think the issue, long term, is much more complicated than presented here.

      •  of course it is more complicated but must (5+ / 0-)

        communicate in limited space, words and must consider that people have limited time to pursue these diaries.  So i try to present the problem as complete as possible and i usually try to present the most practical solution, one that we all can participate in.  I don't like to alarm people without presenting a credible solution.

        Macca's Meatless Monday

        by VL Baker on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 04:42:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I think about moving back... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, alwaysquestion, jilikins the Great Lakes region where I grew up. I know that the Lakes are under climate stress too, and are currently at their lowest levels since the 1960s (IIRC). Where I live now (western Washington) seems to be doing fine with respect to access to fresh water. But I still wonder if moving back might not be a bad idea.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:08:50 PM PST

    •  There will no doubt be attempts to steal (13+ / 0-)

      the water, but the existing treaty with Canada does not allow any water (except for the special exemption granted to Chicago when the reversed the river in the 1800's) to divert any water out of the Great Lakes watershed.

      I moved to back to Northern Ohio (Euclid) this May, and live across the street from Lake Erie.  I can hear the lake roaring every night as I go to sleep.

      When Vegas and Los Angeles and Phoenix are no longer sustainable, Cleveland and Detroit and Toledo may well have the last laugh.

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:19:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sailed it for Years off Downtown; Actually My 1st (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alwaysquestion, bobdevo, jilikins

        sailboat ride was off a Euclid beach as a kid. Dad was an expert model ship builder but the availability of people scale sailboats had never occurred to us.

        Know that sound well; we're father inland but within an easy drive for me and my current sailing dinghy.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:20:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I lived in Arizona for 8 years. (9+ / 0-)

        I do not consider myself a survivalist by any means. I do not have a bunker stockpiled with rations and water. I do not hunt, and do not want to learn how to hunt. However, while living in Arizona, I kept having a nightmare that if one day civilization should collapse my family and I would not be able to live off the land. No water, and the heat was atrocious.

        Even if civilization does not collapse -- living in Phoenix, or Tucson, is just not sustainable. We moved out to the Ozarks. There's plenty of water and resources to live off the land if need be. I love it when it rains and I love it that there's green grass and trees. It's a reminder that nature can sustain life here all on its own.

    •  We Came From the Sound to N Ohio (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My suspicion is that for a time the impacts of climate might be less here than around the Sound, where

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:18:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Like climate Change there are plenty of solutions (9+ / 0-)

    but people just don't want to hear them and mankind is not altruistic enough to do something now that will not benefit the planet for another hundred years or more.

    Our planet is overpopulated for a start. As the global population grows, so will our problems and the likelihood we as a species will survive beyond the next few hundred years dwindles dramatically.

  •  The efforts to privatize water supplies... (14+ / 0-)

    by friendly folks like the Bush's Carlisle Group, Nestle, etc, is a corporate crime the dimensions of which are not yet fully understood.

    The corporate overlords want to control all water, and hence all life, on the planet.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:15:30 PM PST

    •  Everyone likes to focus on the Bushies... (9+ / 0-)

      ...regarding this subject. However the Bush Family Crime Syndicate are small potatoes in the Guarani Aquifer. The Chinese government is a buyer of HUGE tracts of this aquifer in several countries, especially Paraguay. The Moonies have purchased 20 million acres of this aquifer. There are other players as well. Focusing on the Bushies ignores the governmental controls which will rise from this. Besides.. they only control about 100,000 acres.

      Potable water will be worth more than gold at some point.

      "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

      by CanisMaximus on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:35:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been screaming about this... (7+ / 0-)

    ..for YEARS! "There is nothing without potable water. Prove me wrong" is my most universal comment.

    I'm glad someone has taken up the banner. Whenever I would say something to that effect, I would get responses like, "Technology will save us." "There will be more water available on land because more storms", etc..

    Hog pucky.

    Here's my piece of advice. You can find it throughout my comments: Get your genetic legacy to a place where there will be potable water for at least fifty years. It's gonna get REAL bad for many, even here in the US.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:26:57 PM PST

  •  My genetic legacy is in Tucson, with their mother. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So it goes.

    "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

    by Bisbonian on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:34:28 PM PST

  •  Are kilograms (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, grubber, pat bunny

    The right comparison for food?

    I don't want to take sides in the meat-eater vs. vegetarian vs. vegan controversy, but some foods provide more nutrition (calories, vitamins and minerals, ...) than others.

    •  I have allergies (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, rainmanjr, jilikins

      to nuts, soy, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, natural flavor (whatever that is).  I have to eat meat and fresh fruit/vegetables.  That said, I see all the folk here in the OC watering their lawns, hedges, trees and just shake my head.  We need de-salination now.  Northern Cali will not give us water forever.  Wasn't there a movie with Jack Nicholson about So Cal water wars in the "50's?

  •  I think the Swedish assessment presumes mortality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Selphinea, alwaysquestion

    rates will not increase sharply, which is probably a bad assumption.

  •  Water "shortage" (8+ / 0-)

    Another way of saying "population excess".

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 05:45:35 PM PST

    •  I don't think so. (0+ / 0-)

      Ok not necessarily. Math is what they use to calculate water. How we use the water we have makes all the difference. The high level of water usage we have here in the US may not be sustainable.

      So, its more about management of resources than what you said, "population excess" disgusting remark, if I might add.  

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:17:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        "population excess" disgusting remark, if I might add.
        why "population excess" is disgusting.  I take that to mean over populated for whatever reason.  What did you take that to mean?  

        1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

        by alwaysquestion on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:53:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Is Over Population more presentable? (7+ / 0-)

        Regardless of what term you use, this planet is overpopulated with humans, there are finite resources and to believe we can continue to grow without consequences is the philosophy of a group of cancer cells (to borrow from Edward Abbey).

        The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

        by bgblcklab1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:06:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When I was born there were around... (5+ / 0-)

          ...4 billion humans on earth. Now there are close to 7 billion.

          And people wonder why US living standards are declining.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:42:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The standard of living will continue to (5+ / 0-)

            decline for all but the very richest among us unless we figure out how to reduce our population .
            There are means we have to control our population.  The most effective include war, famine and disease.  These are not the most humane but they do work although they are not necessarily environmentally friendly.
            Until we figure out how to control our population, all this talk of shortages of this or that is ignoring the real problem.

            The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

            by bgblcklab1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:34:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There really isn't a humane way (5+ / 0-)

              to reduce population quickly. It takes many generations to make significant progress.

              The problem is demographics. A sudden and drastic reduction in birth rate leaves you with very few workers trying to feed and provide medical care for an aging population.

              I fear we are in for some very rough times.

              Republicans proved in October that they are UNFIT TO GOVERN. Don't let the voter forget it. (-7.25, -6.21)

              by Tim DeLaney on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 08:52:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's rubbish (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Prickly Pam

              Yes we are over populating the planet but we don't have to lose anyone to change to sustainable practices. We waste and pollute like there is no tomorrow. We haven't even tried to find renewable ways or change our economy to reflect the new reality of resource depletion. Going with this economy only pillages and contaminates our habitat and makes climate change worse. We need bold measures that make a real difference. Sure we may not be able to completely stop the use of dirty fuels but we can start now to transition to policies that develop our in public transit infrastructure and update it into the 21st century, stop giving the fossil fuel industry subsidies, start growing and manufacturing hemp for the myriad of products it can be used for as well as ways of replacing petrochemicals for plastics etc.. We can do a whole lot more that would only make our lives more liveable, more wholesome and a lot happier. But we stay stuck on this system. We could be bringing out the most creative designers and refresh the economic system to one that would support nature and mimic it (because nature is really the successful result of many years of experimentation) such as having diverse currencies if we are going to have money at all. We could be transitioning to renewable energies but we don't have an energy policy or anything even resembling an energy policy.

              •  No it is not (4+ / 0-)

                recycle, conserve, reduce consumption whatever.
                As surely as I will hit the ground as I fall because of the law of gravity, there is a carrying capacity of this earth and it is not infinite.  We or our children will pay the price.  There will be a population crash unless we control the expansion of the human population, or, maybe there will be the rapture.  That could happen, yep.

                The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

                by bgblcklab1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 09:08:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Naive (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Prickly Pam, bgblcklab1

                (1) We can't feed 7 billion people without fossil fuels, period.

                (2) As has been true in the past, all gains made through improved technology and improved environmental performance will be simply plowed back into further population growth, eliminating the gains.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:55:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Or, sloppy agricultural habits, or too much meat- (3+ / 0-)

      growing, or changing weather patterns.  And yes, too many people in the wrong place.

  •  We are animals (6+ / 0-)

    and like all animal population when we over populate we will pay the consequences.  I can remember this lesson from grade school.  I presume the plutocrats think they will steal all the water just like they stole all the money, but I suspect they will not be exempt from the plagues that will follow.

  •  Assumptions... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WillR, akmk, tari
    Leading water scientists from the The Stockholm International Water Institute are issuing a warning that food shortages in the future will dictate a global transition to vegetarian diets by 2050.
    I take it Stockholm thinks countries with water will share it with countries without water, which I think is a big mistake.

    I don't think you can save people from themselves.  Look at Mexico City.  25 million and growing.  Rampant poverty and food challenges for many and yet no serious birth control education program.

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has an excellent global birth control program.  They decided to go to the root of the problem.  Smart.

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:17:05 PM PST

  •  Breaking out the stats on water and meat (6+ / 0-)

    Developed countries use much less of their water for ag than the big LDC's. Basically, China and India are using 80+% of their water for ag. But they also eat a primarily vegetarian diet, and grow a lot of rice, a very water-intensive crop.

    It would be very nice to have some info on how reduction in meat-eating would impact water availability in different regions. It is not clear that a one-size-fits all "stop eating meat" would actually affect the water shortages in the places that are most at risk. And since moving water around is expensive, the solutions need to fit the places with the problems.

    I agree that 1) Americans eat too much, meat especially, 2) reduction in meat consumption would have multiple net benefits, and 3) the environmental impacts of food choices deserve more research and lots more attention.

    But I think you go from "here's a global problem" to "THE solution is to go vegetarian" without the locally appropriate intermediate steps.

    I also think we get a lot further asking everyone to reduce meat consumption form whatever their current level is than trying to get everyone to swear off meat so that Africa will have enough water.

    "When strong winds blow, don't build walls, but rather windmills: there is a way to turn every bit of adversity into fuel for improvement." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    by Urban Owl on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:38:51 PM PST

    •  Good Point (6+ / 0-)

      Conserving water and eating granola in Eugene Oregon is not going to do much for the desert sahara.  

      The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

      by bgblcklab1 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:56:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  your comment doesn't make much sense to me (0+ / 0-)

      especially this:

      I also think we get a lot further asking everyone to reduce meat consumption form whatever their current level is than trying to get everyone to swear off meat so that Africa will have enough water.
      don't know how you came to that conclusion

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:00:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Psychology. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Urban Owl, Prickly Pam

        People respond better to "cut back some" than to "cut it out".

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:17:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think people in one part of the world, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VL Baker

          i.e. United States, maybe especially United States, have a hard time visualizing what it might look like in another part of the world, i.e. Africa, to have no water.  

          So, unfortunately, I think we have to somehow present the meatless/less-meat choice in terms of "what's in it for us?"  The same with non-fracking.  Like emphasize the specific, graphic health benefits of vegetarian eating.  And emphasize the effect on US water supplies of fracking's horrendous water usage and contamination.

          Also, unfortunately, the corporate media have a stranglehold on what the majority of Americans learn about these things.  

          So we get the message out via diaries like this.  Short, with pictures.  Perfect.

          Then share it on fb.

          Thank you, VL Baker.

          •  I can visualize African problems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prickly Pam

            But I don't see the link between meat-eating in the U.S. and the lack of water in every spot on the map. After reading the linked articles, it is clear that the problem in many places is mostly lack of water infrastructure.

            Cutting back on meat consumption is a good idea for lots of reasons, and regional water supplies might well be one of them. Certainly is everywhere over the Ogallala Aquifer.

            But water problems in India, or Africa, or wherever, are just not subject to the magic solution of everyone in America dropping meat from their diet. It's the nexus between stated problem and proposed solution that seems a little stretched.

            And the case to eat less meat is made weaker if the benefits are exaggerated, as opposed to being more carefully linked.

            That's all I was trying to say, and debated whether to say it, but I agree with the goal, so hope this can be seen as helpful suggestion as to how to better promote it.

            "When strong winds blow, don't build walls, but rather windmills: there is a way to turn every bit of adversity into fuel for improvement." -Nassim Nicholas Taleb

            by Urban Owl on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 04:13:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The problem in Yemen is severe there almost (6+ / 0-)

    certaintly will have to be a mass evacuation of much of the country in the next 20 years. A combination of religious values that prevnt family planning, the cultivation of khat, and the countries almost total reliance on aquifers for water, has created a situation so dire it's almost unimaginable. Yemen simply can't support the human population it has (or will have) in 20-25 years without significant changes.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 06:52:29 PM PST

    •  Recently read a report about war (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      going to break out in Yemen area for that very reason.  Wish I knew where I read that but it talked about other nations simply not taking in Yemen refuges to that degree with themselves having the same problem.  I don't see another nation willingly taking in Yemen populations.  But everything you mention is spot on for the problem.  If I can find that article, I will pop back in and post it.

      1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

      by alwaysquestion on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:07:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watched (6+ / 0-)

    a lot of grass being watered in C. Texas. No cows, no goats, just ornamental grass. Then rice growers were told they would be getting reduced water for irrigation. Choices.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:04:45 PM PST

  •  Whenever fresh water is mentioned, (9+ / 0-)

    I always think of the 4-6 Million gallons that get used
    to Frack a Single shale gas well.

    All those gallons of fresh water get turned into Nasty
    toxic waste that can Never be used for anything else.

    You can extend the life of the gas well, but that requires
    Another 4-6 million gallons of Fresh water.

    Makes me really Glad that I don't live anywhere
    Near a large Shale formation.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:07:47 PM PST

    •  why can't that water just evaporate? (0+ / 0-)

      it's not like it's stuck in it's liquid state..

      •  Evaporation is how Utah handles a lot (4+ / 0-)

        of oil and gas process wastewater.   The only
        problem with doing so is that such management leads to large volatile organic compound, hazardous air pollutant and methane emissions.

        In general, running your physical process for handling flowback process wastewater should not rely on open, uncontained evaporation at all for emission control in order to achieve good air pollution control practice in controlling emissions.   That means tanks for all process wastewater and a closed vent system with gas collection and marketing or use of a flare to combust methane emissions.

    •  Fracking water can pick up radiation which cannot (0+ / 0-)

      be removed from the wastewater.

      •  Here's some links about fracking wastewater (0+ / 0-)

        contamination.  Radioactivity and more goodness and radioactivity.

        Here's an interesting quote from that second article from on Oct 2, 2013:

        Their (Duke University scientists) analyses, made on water and sediment samples collected repeatedly over the course of two years, were even more concerning than we’d feared. As published today in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, they found elevated concentrations of the element radium, a highly radioactive substance. The concentrations within sediments in particular were roughly 200 times higher than background levels. In addition,  amounts of chloride and bromide in the water were two to ten times greater than normal.

        This is despite the fact that treatment actually removes most of the contaminants from the wastewater–including 90 percent of the radium. “Even if, today, you completely stopped disposal of the wastewater,” Vengosh says, there’s enough contamination built up in sediments that “you’d still end up with a place that the U.S. would consider a radioactive waste site.”

  •  Scary video. Makes me think twice about (0+ / 0-)

    cutting our defense budget.  

    Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:13:02 PM PST

  •  it's one of the biggest contradictions (0+ / 0-)

    for me as a liberal.

    What is good for people is often bad for the planet. What is bad for the planet is often good for people.

  •  in many places, part of the water problem is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dbm, Back In Blue, Egalitare, ichibon

    occasioned by pollution. Monopolization of water, and pollution of the water table which Green line Israel and Gaza share, from industrial activity, is already a survival issue, as is mere supply which has already produced historical military activity destroying water works in Jordan, Israel's idea of the perfect place for Palestinians to go. Pollution of rivers at horrendous level in China from which a huge percentage of Chinese draw their drinking water is another similar problem, but only in that country. We won't hear about fracking as a problem until somebody contaminates the Oglalla acquifer, which supplies the northern Middle West of this country, or some nut doing fracking gets its waster into the New York watershed on which millions depend.

    It's another problem with water which must also be dealt with.

  •  I wish that everyone who is concerned about this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam, julesrules39

    will do their level best to educate the people around them by opening up the discussion and sharing knowledge as much as possible to turn this situation around. It could very well be the time when the genes that survive will be clever enough to outsmart the destroyers. I see the problem as us thinking we have to obey laws. Imagine if we decided that we don't. Imagine if we decided that all laws that are current will be replaced by laws that were made exclusively by women. That would disarm the destroyers. They would not know what to do without that implicit consent. It would be a solution that may take a while to build momentum but we have to find a way to disarm the madmen or we'll all be going to kingdom come.

  •  I don't disagree with your message (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marcus Graly

    But I would be careful about characterizing Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) members as "leading water scientists."  This is the second time you've characterized them that way.

    But they're not.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm sure there are some good people there, and some good work done by them, but SIWI is a relatively recently-created entity working on water policy matters.  Their reach and influence are pretty darn limited. I suspect many, if not most, experts working on actual projects in hydrology and water supply have no interaction with SIWI and many are in no way influenced by the work they do.

    That doesn't mean their work isn't of use.  It's just not that influential or "leading" in the water resources field, which is such a varied and vast field that reaching consensus on who are the "leading" scientists would be quite hard to achieve.

    But if you could, I'd bet money it would not include employees of SIWI.

  •  Not leading from behind but our head up our behind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, Prickly Pam

    Scary stuff but the USA will do zip about it.
    Jut like every other global issue where the blowback is after the next election cycle. Besides, half this country knows its Gods will all that beef and pork be cheap enough to double down on the Big Macs whenever you want. It may even be written in the Constitution.

  •  Population (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, ichibon, Prickly Pam

    there are way too many people and not enough resources.
    we need to address over population every chance we get.
    I have people in my family that have 4 boys and keep trying to have a girl. I see it everywhere.
    there are no birds in North Korea because the starving people have eaten them all.   What about the Duggars the vagina as a clown car with their 19 brood?  How dare these people do this.  Atleast in Latin America the women are starting to have less children.  I belong to the Center for biological Diversity they represent flora and fauna and the address overpopulation for the balance of nature.
    Everyone wants a car and an air conditioner.

  •  The older I get, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, Prickly Pam

    the more pessimistic I get about humans being able to control appetites that lead to the destruction of our planet.  
    I just cannot see the world governments ever being able to act together to bring the change we need.
    I used to have some hope that the UN could have a bigger say in climate altering decisions, but so far, the UN can only act after the fact.
    I think that the only way humans can survive long term, is to have a truly united nations, one with the ability to actually enforce common sense laws, but I just can't see that ever happening.
    I became vegetarian in my twenties, and I'm 72 now, so vegan/vegetarian most of my life. I like to think I've been part of the solution, but realistically, how much good have I done when you figure in the millions of fat burgers that the McDonalds of the world sell each day, and the harm to the planet done to produce those fat burgers?
    I think that the only way we change our eating habits, is to be forced into it by not having the option of meat eating.

    Severely Socialist 47283

    by ichibon on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 09:21:48 AM PST

    •  I like to think you've made a difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      julesrules39, ichibon

      because I'm 60 and I've been a vegetarian for 24 years,  and I choose to think I've made a difference.

      1.  In all our vegetarian years, think of all the animals we could have eaten but have not.  All the animals that were not bred because we didn't contribute to the demand.  All the animals that weren't fed antibiotics and haven't been slaughtered inhumanely.  

      2.  In all our vegetarian years, think of all the people we have touched, however lightly, with our reasoning for being vegetarians.  I don't usually mention it, but if I'm asked I will talk about it.  So I have talked to many people about it in these last 24 years.  I'm a believer that if I sow a seed, then someone else (perhaps you) waters that seed a little, then the seed may grow.  

      It beats the alternative of just scarfing down meat like the rest of the folk.

      Keep on keepin' on, ichibon.

  •  So, does this mean (0+ / 0-)

    the poor will have to adopt vegetarian diets by 2050 in order for everyone to afford today's water use?  And is that bad thing for anyone?

  •  Water security is an issue for many reasons, not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prickly Pam

    just overpopulation leading to depletion of existing aquifers, which can collapse preventing the ability for them to refill.  Kansas, AZ, CA, NV all face real challenges over the next decade or two.  FL and TX are also of concern.

    Privatization, toxins and pharmaceutical pollution threaten us in the US.  But, industrialized agriculture is a huge issue.  The soil erosion and runoff filled with pesticides and herbicides result from these unsustainable practices.  

    People should reduce meat and dairy in the US as well as paying a little extra for organic when they do buy those items.  We don't need legislation to affect that change.

    In many places, fresh water supplies are being compromised because of brining due to sea level rise.

    If you haven't seen "Last Call at the Oasis", I recommend it.

    We should consider how to capture and clean flood waters as part of our climate change adaptation plans rather than letting this precious resource run downstream to seas/oceans.

  •  I'd like to thank the author (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for this interesting information. I never realized how much water was required for various crops (well, beyond corn, which is a notoriously thirsty crop) and our meat sources.

    Well, I now have another reason to not like beef. Its lack of flavor and its phenomenal amount of water required to support it.
    Thankfully, I far prefer lamb, goat and chicken.

  •  Water (0+ / 0-)

    Without water there can be no life.  Think about it.

  •  Water plan! Also food, energy, cooling, health... (0+ / 0-)

    A plan for energy, jobs, hunger, the environment, even high blood pressure!

    1. Hook up every machine at every Bally's, Lucille Roberts, Curves, etc., gyms to electric turbines, and pay people tax-free to use them.  Especially in America this would help obesity!

    2a. Cover -- I mean cover! -- Tornado Alley with wind turbines that are also specially designed to get maximum power from tornadoes.

    2b. Cover large swaths of desert with solar panels -- this will also cool the planet.

    3. Cancel and eliminate all car, boat and motorcycle racing, all demolition-derby and monster-truck orgies, all air shows, etc., etc., which burn up huge amounts of fuel for nothing more than our jollies.

    4. We have Cash for Clunkers, so set up similar programs to encourage people to buy mopeds, motorcycles, Segue's, etc.

    5. Desalinate lots of sea water -- our oceans are rising, so there's plenty of supply.

    5a. Give the seas' salt, which has lower sodium, to junk-food companies, etc., so we won't have to mine it.

    5b. Purify some sea water for people who have none to drink.

    5c. Use the rest of the seas' water to irrigate the Earth's deserts, all of which have been expanding for decades -- if we can get oil down from Alaska, we can get water anywhere.  But leave large sections of desert for solar panels as well as the wildlife that likes the desert.

    5d. In those irrigated deserts grow ethanol-producing plants to help energy and global warming, and golden rice, etc., to help hunger too.  We could also grow...

    6. Dare I mention it?  Industrial hemp!  Why not replace half our tobacco crop with that?  Isn't the government already growing acres of THC-laden hemp for the -- what is it, ten? -- people who have government approval to use it?  Hemp oil burns cleanly and very hot, so it would help the energy crisis too.

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