Water Wars Redux

What’s up fam,

This week’s Economist magazine had a great 16 page report on water and I strongly recommend you buy it because we are entering new territory regarding access to clean water. Previously, I have written about the growing battle for the right to water and The Economist does a great job of sounding the alarm. Roughly 1.1 billion people don’t have access to clean water. What really had me thinking was two main things. The first surrounded the notion of water wars and conflicts over water. The Economist highlighted the work of the Pacific Institute in California that has an awesome interactive map detailing the history of water conflicts across the world.

The old adage is that “a hungry mob is an angry mob.” but without 1.1 billion people without access to clean water, that adage may have to change to say that “a thirsty mob is an angry mob.” I was distressed reading about how diarrhea is the biggest single cause of child deaths across the globe. Now think about all the water and nutrients that need to be replaced when you have diarrhea and imagine the pain that three and four year olds are suffering from even as you read these words. For more information on this topic, I found some good info from the US Coalition for Child Survival.

Moreover, I remember reading about water shortages years ago and thought, “Why don’t we just get water from the ocean?” I find it interesting that the cover story for The Economist magazine involved man-made life but with all of man’s intellect and hubris, we still haven’t found a way to efficiently desalinize salty ocean water. Of course, desalinization is no silver bullet and we have to reduce demand through shorter showers, rejecting bottled water, revising irrigation strategies, washing our cars less, etc. In short, we need a world changing water master plan that decreases conflicts over water. Do your part.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

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