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Water, Water, Everywhere Nor Any Drop To Drink
By Ernest Stewart

"Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink."
Rime of the Ancient Mariner ~~~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Americans tend to focus on America and little elsewhere. Most Americans know that there's a water shortage in the West -- California especially. Truth is, compared to much of the West, California's drought isn't so bad! 30 million of the states 39 million are affected, while another 100 million is affected region-wide! Down in Florida, they're having similar problems. Trouble is, the American West is but a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the world!

A new analysis reveals global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people, over 57% of the world's population.

Previous analyses looked at water scarcity at an annual scale, finding that water scarcity affected between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people. A new study, published last Friday in the journal Science Advances, assessed water scarcity on a monthly basis, more fully capturing the specific times of year when it could be an issue; and when calculated this way, another 900 million people are added to the drought list.

"Water scarcity has become a global problem affecting us all," stated study co-author Arjen Hoekstra, a professor of water management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

The study found almost half of the 4 billion affected by severe water scarcity for a month or more are in India and China. Millions of others affected live in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Mexico. There are also half a billion people who face severe water scarcity year round, the analysis found. Arjen Hoekstra continues...
"Direct victims of the overconsumption of water resources are the users themselves, who increasingly suffer from water shortages during droughts, resulting in reduced harvests and loss of income for farmers, threatening the livelihoods of whole communities. Businesses depending on water in their operations or supply chain also face increasing risks of water shortages. Other effects include biodiversity losses, low flows hampering navigation, land subsidence, and salinization of soils and groundwater resources.

"Meeting humanity's increasing demand for freshwater and protecting ecosystems at the same time, will be one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century."
This new publication follows a pair of NASA studies led by researchers from the University of California Irvine, showing that the impacts of global warming along with growing demand has caused the world's water supply to drop to dangerous levels.

"The water table is dropping all over the world," Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said. "There's not an infinite supply of water."

"We need to get our heads together on how we manage groundwater, because we're running out of it."

Now, combine the scarcity of fresh water to places like Flint, Michigan, who have plenty of water, but the water they have has been poisoned by industry and century old lead pipes. Some scholars say that the fall of the Roman Empire was partly caused by the Romans using lead pipes to brings fresh water from their aqueducts to their homes, baths and common cisterns. After a few centuries of drinking lead-laced water, what would you expect to happen?


03-11-1936 ~ 02-13-2016
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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 08 (c) 02/19/2016