October 16, 2002

Dem Bones Dem Bones

Flush if you must. Shower with a friend. Gargle but do not spit. You may wish you had it back again: water.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- If current global water usage trends continue, the planet will face a serious water shortage in the coming decades that could lead to public health problems and environmental damage, a research group warned in a report released Wednesday.

The report, "Global Water Outlook to 2025: Averting an Impending Crisis," is based on a computer model that predicts if current water management trends go unchanged, water scarcity in that year will result in worldwide losses of approximately 350 million metric tons of food production. That staggering figure is slightly greater than the entire U.S. annual grain crop.

[...] According to the report, demand for water for non-irrigation uses will rise by 62 percent between now and 2025. At the same time, household water demand will increase by 71 percent, with more than 90 percent of that figure from developing nations where many households already lack connections to clean, piped water.

Although the developing world would be hardest hit by a global water crisis, the report states, demand for water for industrial needs also is expected to rise dramatically in the coming decades. In addition, many nations could face increased dependence on food imports if they cannot meet their crop irrigation requirements. Therefore a global water shortage could lead to skyrocketing food prices. The report projects the price of rice would increase by 40 percent, wheat by 80 percent and corn by 120 percent if current water demand trends continue.

Posted by fred1st at October 16, 2002 05:58 PM

About 45 years ago Mr Harry Walter, who was a scietist and inventer with 30+ patents, told me Florida would run out of water within ten years.
I'm sure there is danger related to water usage, I just don't know who to believe, and the scary time schedules seem to be very innacurate.
Here in S. W. Florida we had a very normal "wet" season this summer, but now I sprinkle water on my raised bed vegetable garden most days, which is also normal.

Posted by: Charlie at October 17, 2002 07:20 AM

Straight line extrapolations are always risky, but under the circumstances with a life-limiting commodity like water, perhaps we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It is certain that fresh water is a fixed resource, and our demands for it increase as our numbers do. At some point in the future, water will become to us as precious as it ought to be now.

Posted by: fredf at October 17, 2002 08:44 AM

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