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U.N. warns 'vampiric overconsumption' is draining world's water

7 Comments
By Isla Binnie

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quote: phasing out some $700 billion in agricultural and water subsidies.

Your food and water supply will then cost $700 billion more. More inflation on the way.

We badly need more reservoirs to capture more of the rain we get in wetter periods to cope with later drought (incidentally reducing flooding and landslips). We need water grids to move water around. We have drip irrigation systems that should be used more in farming. Sewage systems sometimes fail to cope leading to polluted water discharged into the environment. A great deal of drinking water is lost simply due to a failure to rapidly fix leaks. There are some easy (and in some cases quite cheap) ways to save huge amounts of water, but governments haven't supported the infrastructure required over the decades. Many places will need desalination plants far sooner than they think. We could all make better use of 'grey water' in our gardens. Modernising old toilets reduces a lot of water. Many simple alterations scale dramatically when everyone implements them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Quick way to save a great deal of water would be to downsize golf courses to 9 holes.

But that would be very cruel to all those poor golfers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mammoth resorts require huge amounts if water to essentially indulge the whims of luxury, while military bases and battleships not only consume huge amounts of water but massively pollute the environment including sources of drinking water with waste related to the tons of toxic chemicals related to vehicles, weapons etc

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"We are draining humanity's lifeblood through vampiric overconsumption and unsustainable use, and evaporating it through global heating,"

This is not only a water problem. Overconsumption or overpopulation? And yet the UN is doing everything possible to perpetuate more population and urban growth. Illegal immigrants going to western civilization don’t go start up homesteading, they go straight for the urban centers.

Knock down the cities and spread out the population so families can better utilize all the resources including water and small farming.

No way this is gonna have a happy ending with folks in the US anyway thinking the Dems or Reps are the answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Global warming, lack of water, lack of food etc etc etc, yawn, getting tired of all this claptrap.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

We badly need more reservoirs to capture more of the rain we get in wetter periods to cope with later drought (incidentally reducing flooding and landslips)

Pretty much all the good sites for a dam already have a dam on them. Putting a new dam on the Colorado River for example would not improve water storage. There isn't enough water for all the users. Surface reservoirs suffer from evaporation losses that will only become worse as the Earth warms.

At this point in time, considering how badly overdrawn major aquifers are all across the world a better idea is to build infrastructure to divert floods into spreading basins where the water can percolate back into the aquifer.

 Many places will need desalination plants far sooner than they think.

Desalinization is not a good choice for three important reasons. Number one is the amount of energy required to remove the salt from the water makes it tremendously expensive. Such water is far to costly for agriculture. The water would cost more than the crops grown and the land it is grown on. Number two is the amount of power required both to operate the desalinization plant and to pump water uphill, maybe hundreds of meters in elevation or more to move the water from a coastal desalinization plant to users inland. Where is all this power coming from? A desalinization plant the size of the Poseidon plant in Carlsbad would need a solar field the size of a large subdivision to power it. Number three is the problem of disposing of the waste stream of concentrated brine mixed with all the pollutants removed from the water. It is too toxic to simply dump back into the ocean. The plants in Israel are not good examples because the population of Israel is tiny, the distances water has to be moved are very short and the elevation change is not great. Desalinizing water for Los Angeles County means moving water a hundred kilometers or more from the coast and over mountains to get it to inland valleys at elevations over 300 meters. Even piping treated wastewater from the big coastal treatment plant at Hyperion is prohibitively expensive and would require more electrical power than is available.

A far more economical method is to treat waste water to a drinkable standard and pump this back into aquifers. Orange County Water Authority has been doing this for over three decades. LA is set to open their own such plant in a year or two with San Diego right on their heels. Treating waste water to recharge aquifers can be done locally and doesn't require moving large quantities of water long distances and over mountains.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Water is a precious resource. The "Social Army" working and living at Anandwan in India's Maharashtra, use water sparingly. The innovative water harnessing methods of those serial entrepreneurs deserve a serious look.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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