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Old 10-27-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Water situation could eclipse oil situation?

Many states seen facing water shortages

By BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer
Fri Oct 26, 9:24 PM ET

An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions. Florida doesn't have nearly enough water for its expected population boom. The Great Lakes are shrinking. Upstate New York's reservoirs have dropped to record lows. And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year. Across America, the picture is critically clear — the nation's freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst.

The government projects that at least 36 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, waste and excess.

"Is it a crisis? If we don't do some decent water planning, it could be," said Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the Denver-based American Water Works Association.

Water managers will need to take bold steps to keep taps flowing, including conservation, recycling, desalination and stricter controls on development.

"We've hit a remarkable moment," said Barry Nelson, a senior policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The last century was the century of water engineering. The next century is going to have to be the century of water efficiency."

The price tag for ensuring a reliable water supply could be staggering. Experts estimate that just upgrading pipes to handle new supplies could cost the nation $300 billion over 30 years.

"Unfortunately, there's just not going to be any more cheap water," said Randy Brown, Pompano Beach's utilities director.

It's not just America's problem — it's global.

Australia is in the midst of a 30-year dry spell, and population growth in urban centers of sub-Saharan Africa is straining resources. Asia has 60 percent of the world's population, but only about 30 percent of its freshwater.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of scientists, said this year that by 2050 up to 2 billion people worldwide could be facing major water shortages.

The U.S. used more than 148 trillion gallons of water in 2000, the latest figures available from the U.S. Geological Survey. That includes residential, commercial, agriculture, manufacturing and every other use — almost 500,000 gallons per person.

Coastal states like Florida and California face a water crisis not only from increased demand, but also from rising temperatures that are causing glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise. Higher temperatures mean more water lost to evaporation. And rising seas could push saltwater into underground sources of freshwater.

Florida represents perhaps the nation's greatest water irony. A hundred years ago, the state's biggest problem was it had too much water. But decades of dikes, dams and water diversions have turned swamps into cities.

Little land is left to store water during wet seasons, and so much of the landscape has been paved over that water can no longer penetrate the ground in some places to recharge aquifers. As a result, the state is forced to flush millions of gallons of excess into the ocean to prevent flooding.

Also, the state dumps hundreds of billions of gallons a year of treated wastewater into the Atlantic through pipes — water that could otherwise be used for irrigation.

Florida's environmental chief, Michael Sole, is seeking legislative action to get municipalities to reuse the wastewater.

"As these communities grow, instead of developing new water with new treatment systems, why not better manage the commodity they already have and produce an environmental benefit at the same time?" Sole said.

Florida leads the nation in water reuse by reclaiming some 240 billion gallons annually, but it is not nearly enough, Sole said.

Floridians use about 2.4 trillion gallons of water a year. The state projects that by 2025, the population will have increased 34 percent from about 18 million to more than 24 million people, pushing annual demand for water to nearly 3.3 trillion gallons.

More than half of the state's expected population boom is projected in a three-county area that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, where water use is already about 1.5 trillion gallons a year.

"We just passed a crossroads. The chief water sources are basically gone," said John Mulliken, director of water supply for the South Florida Water Management District. "We really are at a critical moment in Florida history."

In addition to recycling and conservation, technology holds promise.

There are more than 1,000 desalination plants in the U.S., many in the Sunbelt, where baby boomers are retiring at a dizzying rate.

The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant is producing about 25 million gallons a day of fresh drinking water, about 10 percent of that area's demand. The $158 million facility is North America's largest plant of its kind. Miami-Dade County is working with the city of Hialeah to build a reverse osmosis plant to remove salt from water in deep brackish wells. Smaller such plants are in operation across the state.

Californians use nearly 23 trillion gallons of water a year, much of it coming from Sierra Nevada snowmelt. But climate change is producing less snowpack and causing it to melt prematurely, jeopardizing future supplies.

Experts also say the Colorado River, which provides freshwater to seven Western states, will probably provide less water in coming years as global warming shrinks its flow.

California, like many other states, is pushing conservation as the cheapest alternative, looking to increase its supply of treated wastewater for irrigation and studying desalination, which the state hopes could eventually provide 20 percent of its freshwater.

"The need to reduce water waste and inefficiency is greater now than ever before," said Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency. "Water efficiency is the wave of the future."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071027/...Cwc2i0hMFH2ocA

Thanks a lot, breeders!
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:45 AM   #2
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just like w/ oil, we need alternative technologies. tampa bay has it right, but can we go larger scale(national/international) quickly enough?

and quit using water in beer making!
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for pointing out why Canada's sovereignty is so threatened... ;-)
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:30 AM   #4
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I think Kuwait has the largest desalination plants on the planet (perhaps a good model to look at) -- all of their water comes from those plants. But in very interior regions, it becomes really expensive to move that water. But it doesn't address the cavernous aquifer situation (sinkhole danger)...
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #5
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and quit using water in beer making!
i pledge to stop drinking beer when the breeders stop their excessive breeding
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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theclencher -

My Dad used to talk about the population bomb in the '70's being the number one problem of humanity. Just googled more of the same :

WATER WARS - FOREIGN POLICY NUMBER 82 SPRING 1991
http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/docs/...4/006-304.html
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The Middle East water crisis is a strategic orphan that no country or international body seems ready to adopt. Despite irrefutable evidence that the region is approaching dangerous water shortages and contamination, Western leaders have so far failed to treat the issue as a strategic priority. Yet when the current Persian Gulf war ends, the water crisis could erupt. This intensifying security issue requires sustained policy actions as well as new bureaucratic and consultative structures.

As early as the mid-1980s, U.S. government intelligence services estimated that there were at least 10 places in the world where war could break out over dwindling shared water---the majority in the Middle East. Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, Malta, and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula are sliding into the perilous zone where all available fresh surface and groundwater supplies will be fully utilized.

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia face similar prospects in 10 to 20 years. Morocco has made serious efforts in the water and sanitation sectors. Still, that country faces the prospect of a declining water supply beyond the year 2000, when its population is projected to grow to 31 million.

Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit (Paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/Water-Wars-Pri.../dp/089608650X
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Book Description

While draught and desertification are intensifying around the world, corporations are aggressively converting free-flowing water into bottled profits. The water wars of the twenty-first century may match-or even surpass-the oil wars of the twentieth. In Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution and Profit, Vandana Shiva, "the world's most prominent radical scientist" (the Guardian), shines a light on activists who are fighting corporate maneuvers to convert this life-sustaining resource into more gold for the elites.

...

In Water Wars, Shiva uses her remarkable knowledge of science and society to outline the emergence of corporate culture and the historical erosion of communal water rights. Using the international water trade and industrial activities such as damming, mining, and aquafarming as her lens, Shiva exposes the destruction of the earth and the disenfranchisement of the world's poor as they are stripped of rights to a precious common good. ...

Water Wars
http://www.mideastnews.com/WaterWars.htm
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Water Wars

A Lecture by Adel Darwish- Geneva conference on Environment and Quality of Life June 1994.

Oil has always been thought of as the traditional cause of conflict in the Middle East past and present. Since the first Gulf oil well gushed in Bahrain in 1932, countries have squabbled over borders in the hope that ownership of a patch of desert or a sand bank might give them access to new riches. No longer. Now, most borders have been set, oil fields mapped and reserves accurately estimated - unlike the water resources, which are still often unknown. WATER is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict in the Middle East.

When President Anwar Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1979, he said Egypt will never go to war again, except to protect its water resources. King Hussein of Jordan has said he will never go to war with Israel again except over water and the Untied Nation Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has warned bluntly that the next war in the area will be over water.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:49 PM   #7
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i pledge to stop drinking beer when the breeders stop their excessive breeding
I think you should pledge to edumacate the roiling masses across the world. Edumacashun makes 'em theenk. Then they get distracted, become nerds, don't get any, and don't make any, .

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Old 10-28-2007, 06:02 PM   #8
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heh heh

the roiling masses don't and won't give a flying ....
until it hits 'em at home. and it has to be harder than a love tap too ta get their attention.

and i'yme not too sure that edjikashun makes em think- unless they can work secret edjikashunol subliminal messages into sports broadcasts and shopping mall music?

and by golly even the nerds are makin em. lordy lordy i'yve seen lotsa - i think they were - women pushing strollers around and thought to myself "there's no way i could get drunk enough to do that".

On 60 minutes last week they had a story about "plumpynut", a peanut/sugar concoction for the malnurished kids in africa that saves loads of em. why one mommy had a couple kids on this stuff and it was helping- they're doing better than the four dead ones she had already that died of malnutrition. it seems they consider dead kids "collateral damage" or just the cost of doing "bidness". so now what's gonna happen? instead of children dieing from malnutrition, adults will?
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In the countryside, where 85 percent of people live, girls start marrying as young as 11 years old. By the age of 15 most are wed, and by 16 most have already become mothers. The average woman here will give birth at least eight times in her lifetime. But largely because of malnutrition, one in five of their children will die before they reach the age of five. Of those who survive, half will have stunted growth and never reach full adult height.

But now, with Plumpynut, more children are surviving and thriving.
they're so damn stoopid, if they don't care why should anyone else?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n3386661.shtml
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:47 PM   #9
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theclencher -

The History channel will have "Mega Drought" on Mega Disasters this Tuesday.

Drink it up!

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:22 PM   #10
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On 60 minutes last week they had a story about "plumpynut", a peanut/sugar concoction for the malnurished kids in africa that saves loads of em. why one mommy had a couple kids on this stuff and it was helping- they're doing better than the four dead ones she had already that died of malnutrition. it seems they consider dead kids "collateral damage" or just the cost of doing "bidness". so now what's gonna happen? instead of children dieing from malnutrition, adults will? they're so damn stoopid, if they don't care why should anyone else?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n3386661.shtml


YOU GOTTA TELL THEM! IT's made of PEOPLE!!!! Soylent Green... err, I mean Plumpynut is made of PEOPLE.....

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they're so damn stoopid, if they don't care why should anyone else?
It's not that they don't care... it's a different culture - they're not industrialized. As such, children are much more valuable. Almost the entire population are livestock farmers (why does farmer seem like the wrong term?) -- and most of the population live on subsistence crops... I think it's also the poorest country on the planet with the highest birthrate (I think it's something like half of the population is under 15 years old o.0) and a very low average lifespan (somewhere in the 40's).

It's easy for us to say "just stop having children" -- because our families don't depend on our children helping their family to survive if/when they get old enough...

I'm not saying the situation is good by any means (it's a pretty bad cycle) - just putting some perspective on why they have so many children :/


We as a race do tend to grow faster than our support system can handle... then engineer ourselves solutions to extend our existence :/
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