Wasting 70 percent of our clean water supply

Lithgow old Water supply

Lithgow old Water supply (Photo credit: Rotuli)

Do you like avocados? Grapes? Cherries? Apples? Nuts? How about fresh milk? Drinking water? These, and most tree or vine fruits and veggies, will be directly affected as climate change worsens day by day.

The potential for war over oil will pale in comparison to wars over food and water. Every day we see harvests getting smaller, drought becoming the norm, and agriculture in general seeing declines all due to climate change. Prices for fresh meat and produce have risen 30% in many places not subsidized by the government.

As the days go by, we will see more and more food farmers unable to meet the demand for produce as their harvest becomes smaller and smaller. Dairy farmers will see less milk (cows work best in cool weather, and farmers can’t afford to provide air conditioning to the millions of cows who would need it). Then there is the clean drinking water supply, that has already been dwindling for years, reaching critical levels.

The Fukishima nuclear plant continues to spew over 70,000 gallons of radiated water into the ocean every day even though the damaging earthquake was many many years ago.

Almost a billion people are currently without adequate water supplies. 2 billion more have access to water, but it’s not safe to drink due to pollution and other factors. Agricultural water pollution due to the way fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are used is also a significant global factor. While the worst hit countries are places in Africa and India, North America and Europe numbers are increasing by the day as well.

Can we change it? Nope. We’re about 20 odd years too late to stop it. But we can slow it down by reducing consumption, making irrigation more efficient, and limiting world population. This isn’t a what if, or eventual situation. This is happening now, has been happening for decades, and worsening each and every passing day.

When it comes to the inefficiency of irrigation, the US is just as bad at it as most developing countries. 70% of the worlds water supply is used for agriculture (90% in arid countries). We’re talking the need for significant and dramatic changes being required before a third of the world’s population die off from thirst and starvation.

There are already places with zero water supply. Places like parts of California, British Columbia, India, and parts of Africa. In less than 10 years, we will see whole countries begin dying off from lack of clean water access. Today, A person in the US taking a 5 minute shower uses more water than some people see in a week in some other countries.

We need to slow down population increases, make irrigation more efficient, stop polluting the water that we have left, and move crops around to where they can be grown more efficiently. Failure to do so within the next few years will result in billions dead within our lifetimes.

 

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