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> Water, the new oil?


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Posted: Jan 23 2006, 03:55 PM
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Will water take over from oil as the main cause of war in the 21st century?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/water/business.html




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Posted: Apr 2 2006, 05:18 PM
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Can you please post the article for me?

I agree, water will be a reason for future wars if we do not conserve, reclaim and recycle.

All of the water that goes down our drains should be reclaimed and recycled.




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Posted: Apr 2 2006, 07:27 PM
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Item as requested.

QUOTE

Gerard Payen, senior executive vice-president of Suez, created ONDEO, the Suez water subsidiary and is now the company's water ambassador

When you turn on the tap or flush the toilet in an increasingly larger number of countries around the world, you're increasing the profit line for some of the world's largest multinational corporations.

The world's private water industry is dominated by just three corporations: Vivendi and Suez, both of France, and Thames Water of England, owned by the German conglomerate RWE.

Peter Spillett is a fish specialist and the head of environment, quality and sustainability for Thames Water, based in Reading, England
Read the full interview with Peter Spillet
For the past decade, the three water companies have been on an explosive growth program. Just a dozen years ago, they operated private water utilities in 12 countries. They now provide drinking water for profit in 56 countries, according to a new study by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The water business has gone from being seen as a low-return utility, to a source of "blue gold."

Peter Spillett, a senior executive with Thames Water, calls water the petroleum of the 21st century.

"There's huge growth potential," he says. "There will be world wars fought over water in the future. It's a limited, precious resource, so the growth market is always going to be there."

Gerard Payen agrees. He directed the overseas expansion for Suez.

"Water as a business is very effective when you look at the needs," says Payen. "We purify water and bring this water to your home. We provide a service, it has a cost, and somebody has to pay for it."

However, there are those who say water should never be privatized.

"What's happening is that water itself is being carved up and will be parceled out according to people who have the ability to pay," says Tony Clarke, author of Blue Gold and a critic of global water corporatization.


Tony Clarke, a critic of water privatization
He says that while the companies claim they can deliver water more efficiently, that is often not the case, and the cost is the loss of public control.

"These are 25, 30-year contracts, which the corporation have enormous control over something that is so essential to life itself," says Clarke.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You can switch from Coke to Pepsi but you can't switch from water to... what?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


David Boys, who works for a federation of public trade unions, says the same reason water is profitable is why it shouldn't be a private business.

"You're clients are captive because they can't decide, 'Well, I'm not going to buy water anymore, I'm not going to turn my tap on,'" he says. "You can't do that. You can switch from Coke to Pepsi but you can't switch from water to... what?"

The public relations videos by the world's top water corporations boast explosive growth, with statements such as:

"Suez has experienced unprecedented growth in the last five years."

"Vivendi Water, the world's largest water company."

"110 million people on five continents are supplied with drinking water and sanitation services." 
The ICIJ investigation shows cases where service and access has improved under private management. But around the world, privatizations have also led to rising costs, cutoffs for poor people and companies pulling out of contracts when they can't make enough profit.

Those issues have provoked heated debates and protests in many countries, debates and protests that may soon be coming here.

Though most privatizations so for have been in Asia, Africa and Latin America, top executives of the big three companies told CBC Radio that they plan to expand next in two areas – China and North America.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/water/business.html

I love this quote, "But around the world, privatizations have also led to rising costs, cutoffs for poor people and companies pulling out of contracts when they can't make enough profit."

"rising costs", "Cutoffs for poor people"!! Denying someone the absolute basic necessity for life because they cannot afford to pay is the lowest act in the capitalist pantheon of crimes!!!!!!!!!! Capitalist rhetoric is full of how efficient capitalism is and how competition drives costs down. Sheer and utter Banta doo-doo!! The whole concept of capitalism is to drive your competitors to the wall and then jack up the prices unmercifully. If you can't get rid of the competition, invite them on customer paid for jaunties and work out a conspiracy to maintain an artificially high price that all suppliers can get take advantage of. Satan is alive and well and his minions hide behind the skirts of capitalism.

This post has been edited by uggliozzi on Apr 2 2006, 07:28 PM




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Posted: Apr 2 2006, 07:41 PM
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Thanks uggliozzi!

In the old days, before the inhuman beings polluted the lands and rivers, you could drill a well or drink from a stream or river.

The inhuman ones have a stranglehold over us all as they have systematically contaminated many sources of fresh drinking water.

Yes, wars will be fought over water because THEY will profit from it.




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~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Posted: Apr 2 2006, 11:03 PM
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It's suprising that conflict over water has not already happened.

1. The US has put so many dams on the Colorado river that it has stopped the flow into Mexico and the farmers that used to rely on it have had to walk off their farms. One of the Colorado dams does not even have water drawn from it. The water in that dam just soaks into the surrounding rocks or evaporates. This water should be released so that the Mexican farmers can continue with their livelihoods and their family homes.

2. In the pursuit of agriculture for profit, Turkey has installed government subsidised power pumps into the sub-artesian basin along its border with Iran. As a result, underground water which has sustained farms for at least four thousand years is now so deep that Iranian farmers cannot access it. They are having to give up land which has fostered untold generations of hard-working farmers so that capitalism can spread its cancer into Turkey.

3. In Australia, water from the Murray-Darling system in New South Wales is used to irrigate two of the lowest-value water-hungry crops imaginable, cotton and rice. This water is drawn from a system which is already over-committed and is used to prop up the income of a few large land-holders instead of being used to support a larger number of more water-efficient small-holders. These crops are grown so that they do not have to be imported. If they were imported, the international balance of payments would be worsened. And who does an unfortunate balance of payments hurt? It hurts international money market investors; ie capitalists. And who has the government appointed to "fix" the system? A capitalist who, after two months on the job, admits publicly that he has no idea where to start. And in the meantime the sytem degrades and tens of millions of trees hundreds of years old are dying through lack of water flow. These trees only need a drink every five years but the capitalists won't even give them that.


Ahh capitalism, will your sins never cease?




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Posted: Apr 4 2006, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for those additional facts...

Check this out...

QUOTE
Final Declaration Holds Diluted View of Water as a "Right"
Diego Cevallos
QUOTE
MEXICO CITY, Mar 22 (IPS) - The assertion that access to water is a human right was not included in the ministerial declaration adopted at the Fourth World Water Forum, which ended in Mexico on Wednesday, World Water Day.

Although all of the delegates said they agreed with the principle, some argued that it was not feasible to include it in the final declaration, because it could generate legal problems at the national and international level.

That stance was criticised by activists, who said the refusal to include the assertion was "a clear indication" that transnational corporations and rich countries do not want to budge an inch in their aim to "commodify" water, to which 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access.

Water is a "guarantee of life for all of the world's people" was the compromise formula agreed by the government delegates taking part in the Mar. 16-22 Forum.

The delegates of the 148 participating countries agreed to sign the (non-binding) document, in which the governments pledged to work towards the goal of universal access to sanitation and safe water, after negotiating the inclusion of an annex that expresses a dissenting view held by several governments.

In the appendix, Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela expressed a stance in line with the positions set forth by the activists taking part in a parallel civil society forum, stating unequivocally that access to water is a fundamental human right.

The three Latin American countries, which are governed by leftist leaders, also expressed "deep concern" over the possible negative impacts that international instruments like free trade and investment agreements could have on water resources.

By contrast to the final declaration, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) also declared Wednesday in Mexico that access to water is a fundamental human right.

UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura said nations that are signatories to U.N. treaties have a "moral obligation" to consider water a human right.

According to the activists who took part in the Mar. 17-19 International Forum in Defence of Water, a civil society gathering that produced an alternative declaration, the dissent expressed at the Forum showed that the organisers were only interested in turning water management into a business opportunity.

"We didn't expect anything different or better to emerge from the Water Forum, we knew this would happen," Claudia Campero, spokeswoman for the Coalition of Mexican Organisations for the Right to Water (COMDA) - which organised the alternative events held parallel to the World Water Forum - told IPS.

The Forum itself was convened by the World Water Council, an international think tank founded in 1996 that deals with water policy and is made up of 300 representatives of business, government ministries, academic centres, multilateral financial institutions, U.N. agencies and local governments.

Because the founders of the Council included executives from multinational water companies like Suez in France, activists argue that the World Water Forums only represent and express the interests of transnational corporations and industrialised countries..

According to the "Joint Declaration of Movements in Defence of Water", which was adopted by last week's civil society meeting and signed by around 300 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from 40 countries, water is a "common good" and access to water is an essential and inalienable right.

The "Joint Declaration" states that water is not merchandise, which is why the NGOs reject all forms of privatisation, even public-private partnerships, which "have proven to be a complete failure around the world."

Argentine Environment Secretary Atilio Armando Sabino argued that the exclusion from the final declaration of the assertion that the right to water is a human right did not tarnish the consensus achieved by the governments that sent delegates to the World Water Forum.

Underscoring that water is a "guarantee of life" for humanity demonstrated sincere concern over the issue on the part of all governments, he maintained.

It was "a bit difficult" to include the right to water in the ministerial declaration because it would have committed many countries to modifying their legislation and would have forced international bodies to create new legal instruments, explained the official.

The document declares that water and sanitation services must be considered top priority in development policies, and that continued efforts and follow-up are necessary to meet the goal of reducing the proportion of people worldwide without access to these crucial services.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by the U.N. member countries in 2000 include a target of halving the proportion of people without safe drinking water, by 2015.

Eugenio Barrios, an activist with the global environmental conservation organisation WWF (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund), described the Fourth World Water Forum as "disappointing."

"We were hoping for advances and for the ministerial declaration to be much more forceful, and to propose practical measures in favour of access to water. We are sorry that did not happen," Barrios told IPS.

WWF took part in the Forum through several conferences as well as meetings with delegates.

The privatisation of water supplies, which according to some activists was the ultimate goal of the Forum, was not a central issue in the debates, and the stance that water is a public good was also advocated, said Barrios.

David Boys, with the France-based Public Services International, a global trade union federation made up of more than 600 public sector unions from 140 countries, agreed with that view. "Even the World Bank acknowledged here that the privatisation of water has been a failure, which was something new that was not heard at the previous forums," he told IPS.

But the final declaration was "very weak," said Boys, whose organisation has urged the World Water Council not to invite government ministers in the future, since the Forum is neither organised by the United Nations nor by governments.

"It is the United Nations that should organise international conferences on water, not a private body," said the trade unionist.

More than 13,000 delegates of private companies, governments and U.N. agencies, as well as a limited number of activists, took part in the Forum, paying registration fees that ranged from 240 to 600 dollars.

Although the World Water Forum is not an official intergovernmental meeting, it is considered the main platform for the global debate on water resources. The Fifth World Water Forum will be held in Istanbul in 2009.

The last day of the Fourth World Water Forum coincided with World Water Day, which is commemorated every year on Mar. 22.

In a statement released in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared that despite its importance, water continues to be "wasted and degraded all over the world." He also pointed out that 6,000 people, mainly children, die every day from water-related causes.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=32605




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Posted: Apr 4 2006, 04:23 PM
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Hi,

In Asia the same: China is damming heavy on its rivers. The Mekong river, which runs through many asian countries is now regulated by the flow of the dams in china;

IF Chinese boats need to go to other asian countries to deliver goods for trade, the flows are increased so the heavy loaded boats have enough water to float on. When the countries, which trade with china in return want to bring their goods to china, there isn't enough water and they cannot transport their stuff out.... OF course the smaller countries keep their mouth shut against the giant... Same as mexico against giant USA....

rn.




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Posted: Dec 11 2006, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE
"There will be world wars fought over water in the future."




28 nov 2006:
QUOTE
Water In Beijing Reservoir, Lakes Unfit For Drinking Or Irrigation
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Water_In...gation_999.html

Water from Beijing’s fourth-largest drinking source was not fit for human consumption or irrigation during the month of October, the capital’s environmental protection agency reported Tuesday. Water from the Guanting reservoir did not meet the number five standard, the lowest on China’s five-tiered pollution monitoring scale, the Beijing Environmental Protection Administration said in its latest monthly water quality report.

Of the city’s 21 water sources, the water quality at one other reservoir was rated at level five but was suitable for irrigation, while four other reservoirs were dried up and could not provide any water, it said.


In a separate report on Beijing lakes, the administration said that seven out of 16 lakes in the city were so polluted that their water could not be used to irrigate the parks that surrounded them.The report said the water quality in the lake at Yuanmingyuan Park and at Taoranting Lake, two major tourist spots, were below level five.

Only four of the city’s lakes could be used to supply drinking water, while water from the other lakes was only fit for industrial use.The watchdog earlier blamed untreated waste water, industrial effluent and agricultural pollution for Beijing’s deteriorating water quality in its lakes and reservoirs, Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s booming economy has come at a high cost to the environment as local governments and enterprises seek to maximize profits while paying scant attention to the ecological damage that has accompanied fast-paced growth.





-I DO FIND THIS ARTICLE VERY INTERESTING-

27 nov 2006:
QUOTE
Water To Be Russia’s Trump Card After Oil
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Water_To...er_Oil_999.html

The Human Development Report recently released by the UN Development Program urges that access to clean water be recognized as a human right. Forecasts are gloomy: in just two decades, at least 40% of the world’s population will face acute water shortages, while between 2025 and 2035 global consumption of fresh water will almost equal the amount available.

This situation foreshadows a bitter global crisis, because increasing competition for water resources may lead to armed conflicts, acts of water terrorism and full-scale wars. In the last 50 years, the world has seen 37 conflicts over water. However, over 200 intergovernmental agreements on using water resources have been signed over the same period. So the threat of water wars will no longer loom large if the world can develop a system of sensible and reliable cooperation in the sphere.

Not every country has significant natural reserves of water. As many as 90% of people live in countries that have to obtain some of their water resources from their neighbors. Russia has an advantage in this respect: it has the world’s second largest fresh water reserves after Brazil. There are 2.5 million rivers and over 3 million lakes on its territory that together hold 26,000 cu km of water.

Russia needs only 2% of these reserves to meet domestic demand and is quite able to share its water with others. In about 30 or 40 years water may replace oil as the main source of revenue for the Russian budget. 
Of course, that does not mean that water, like oil, will be exported. Water consumption follows the law of diminishing returns. Costs of water transportation for industrial, household or agricultural consumption increase drastically after leaving the basin of a water body.

High transportation costs are the main reason why water cannot be traded like oil. Therefore, water markets will not extend beyond a specific basin, with very rare exceptions. This means that water shortages in countries that have already encountered this problem will be dealt with through large-scale implementation of water-saving technology or through eliminating water-intensive production in favor of imports.

It will be much more rational and beneficial for Russia to shift to water-intensive production technologies that save and protect water resources. These will be developed more keenly as global water shortages grow. Let me emphasize that water-intensive production involves the export of products, not commodities. In order to be an active seller, it is not enough to have water reserves; it is also important to develop a system of water-consuming production. Russia has very good chances of entering this market.

Water-intensive industries include power generation, metal production, the paper and pulp sector, polymer chemistry and agriculture. Russia has the potential to succeed in these fields and to become a big exporter of water-intensive products. Only countries that have plenty of water reserves (besides Russia, these are Canada, Brazil and Australia) can sell these products. The restructuring of the global economy in response to the threat of a global water crisis could be extremely beneficial to countries that are rich in water, because the demand for and prices of water-intensive products will undoubtedly increase. Therefore, exporters of such products will be in a situation similar to that of today’s oil exporters. It is quite possible that water-intensive products will dominate the Russian economy in the post-oil period.

The looming global water crisis, accompanied by increasing regional prices for water and global prices for water-intensive products, will definitely halt the growth of water consumption. The question is what economic, social and political consequences this will bring. The answer depends on whether this change is brought about by elementary forces of economic and social development in the face of which the world would be helpless, or is the result of targeted action aimed at ensuring sustainable development despite a global shortage of fresh water.

Accordingly, the international community will be intently watching the efficiency of water use where water is available. This means that water security at the national level will have two aspects: meeting the domestic water demand and efficiently using abundant resources in line with the needs of the international community.The benefits for everyone are obvious: water and water-intensive products are sent to those who need them, while the exporting country makes effective use of its resources, trading on the international market and making a decent profit. There is only one contradiction here: that is between Russia’s interests and the ability of its leaders to defend them.


Norway is also big on water-resources but i guess we are too small compared to Russia, Canada and Australia.



23 oct 2006
QUOTE
Water strategy over military strategy
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jeffre...0/post_524.html

Our political systems and global politics are largely unequipped for the real challenges of today’s world. Global economic growth and rising populations are putting unprecedented stresses on the physical environment, and these stresses in turn are causing unprecedented challenges for our societies. Yet politicians are largely ignorant of these trends. Governments are not organized to meet them and crises that are fundamentally ecological in nature are managed by outdated strategies of war and diplomacy.




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Posted: Dec 11 2006, 03:19 PM
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I must say, it sound all very scary. Control water and you control the public.

but...

We are moving in the information age. People get educated more and more. I find it difficult to believe that we would find ourselves completely rely on t.p.t.b. for our waterneeds.

Ok, this is a bit of flaming but, I would also say, that if we are going to do nothing now, knowing that we have leaders who would love to control us in any way they could, that we deserve them in the end.

So what is there to do?

Educate yourself about water. It is not that difficult and there are a lot of books about it. You will find that for instance, that you do not need water for you toilet. Not a drop! Actually it is the opposite; if you change your toilet into non-water, humanure collect-point, you end up with high quality compost, which you can use for your garden (book about humanure is free online) and that garden you outfit with drip-irrigation, another subject to read upon, which saves you water (and therefore money). Catching rainwater, distill saltwater with solar-heat etc., etc.

If you trust your government, sit back and relax... have another beer watching sports, but if you do not, educate yourself, your children or anybody who wants to listen and prepare them for these hungry controllers.

rn.

This post has been edited by redniut on Dec 11 2006, 03:21 PM




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Posted: Dec 11 2006, 03:22 PM
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When Israel invaded Lebanon around July/August 2006 and destroyed entire cities south of the Litani river.... was it to gain control of the water rights of the Litani river?


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Posted: Dec 11 2006, 04:13 PM
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No, the Litani river was just an target selected to show just how ineffectual any resistance would be. Israel said it would proceed to the Litani and it did. It then stopped. No attempt was made to permanently occupy any portion of Lebanon - the activity was just a punitive action and warning to try and stop the cowardly launching of rockets into Israel's north.

Did you know that independent agencies have reported that Hezbollah stopped civilians from fleeing the Israeli advance, thereby ensuring civilian casualties? The agencies also reported that Hezbollah moved military targets alongside civilian concentrations and even inside hospitals and schools. What sort of people make their children targets for propaganda purposes?

Did you see the footage where Israeli fighters who were leaving the area and moving back to Israel were asked how they were feeling about going back? A man with an unmistakable Aussie accent said that he was feeling really good "but if they do it again we will come back". Considering that the Australian government will strip this man of his citizenship for fighting for another country it just goes to show how strongly he feels about fighting for Israel's survival.

When end-of-enlistment Aussie military personnel were approached by Mossad in 1973 to fight for Moshe Dayan the Australian government drafted, approved and proclaimed anti-mercenary legislation in just four days. Governments can move quickly when they want to.




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Posted: Dec 17 2006, 05:10 AM
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Here's a related article for this thread....

note: I recall reading that the Bush family recently purchased almost 100 acres in South America near the worlds largest water aquifer.

QUOTE
US 'plot' to grab South America's water is all wet
By Andres Oppenheimer
MIAMI HERALD’S
Thursday, December 14, 2006
QUOTE
In recent trips to several Latin American countries, I have been asked the same question: Is the region bound to get rich because it has the world's biggest reservoir of water, which may become the most precious commodity in the 21st century?

In recent trips to several Latin American countries, I have been asked the same question: Is the region bound to get rich because it has the world's biggest reservoir of water, which may become the most precious commodity in the 21st century?

Before we get into whether this theory-which has become very popular on Latin American Internet blogs-has any basis, let's look at the facts.

There is no question that there is a global water problem: The World Health Organization says that 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water. On the other hand, Latin America has more water than any other region in the world: 42 percent of the planet's water.

Still, many Latin American countries, especially Mexico, suffer from water shortages. Rapid urbanization, unregulated industrialization, poor farming practices, corruption and massive leakages have crippled water distribution systems in many countries in the region.

Some Latin American presidents, such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, claim that Latin America is already a much-coveted region because of its water resources. Chavez said in a September 29 speech that "water is more important than oil."

According to a recent report by National Geographic News, the daily Web report of The National Geographic Magazine, "conspiracy theorists fear the United States is secretly taking control of South America's largest underground reservoir of fresh water."

Such fears center on the Guarani Aquifer, which stretches over 460,000 square miles beneath parts of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. "Local distrust of US-backed lending institutions, along with the presence of US troops in Paraguay, has spawned suspicions that Washington is exerting slow control over the Aquifer as insurance against water shortages in the United States," the article says.

Among the most vocal champion of this theory is Argentina's Nobel Peace Prizewinner, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who is quoted in the article as claiming that US military training programs in Paraguay are part of a grand US plan to grab South America's water reservoirs. "The United States already has water problems in its southern states," Perez Esquivel said.

Most international water experts say this is rubbish.

First, the United States may have some water problems in the West, not in the South, they say.

Second, compared to Europe, Asia or Africa, the United States faces much less of a water problem.

Third, and by far most important, water is not likely to become a rapidly disappearing natural resource, they say.

On the contrary, water may become more easily available in the future, because one of the most important technological innovations of the 21st century will be drought-resistant crops. These crops will allow farmers to grow food using half of the water they use now, they say.

That will be a watershed technological advance, because about 70 percent of all water currently used in the world is not used for home consumption, but for agricultural irrigation.

"New technologies will dramatically reduce the use of water for agriculture," says Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, a water specialist with Florida International University. "In 10 or 20 years, you will have widespread commercial use of drought-resistant crops. In addition, you will have a much more generalized use of drip irrigation, which has long been used in countries such as Israel and South Africa."

My opinion: I agree. Industry experts tell me that drought-resistant crops may be widely available even earlier, within the next five years.

The whole water debate reminds me of the once popular theory of 18th century economist Thomas Malthus, who said that because the world population increases geometrically (1, 2, 4, 16, etc.) while food supply only increases arithmetically (1, 2, 3, etc.), the world was heading toward mass starvation.

Malthus did not take into account technological innovation. The "green revolution" of the mid-20th century led to massive increases in cereal production in the developing world, which let countries like India-which suffered from chronic famines-become a food exporter.

The same thing may happen with the water scare. While Latin America should take care of its water reservoirs, it would help itself by spending more of its energies on improving education and attracting investments, like China and India, rather than by waiting to be propelled to the First World by its natural resources.

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/d...061214opi6.html




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