In the 12th century, Sri Lanka’s king Parakramabahu said: "not a single drop of water received from rain should be allowed to escape into the sea without being utilized for human benefit."
Thanks largely to unsafe drinking water, more than 2 million children die of diarrhea each year. Six hundred million subsistence farmers lack irrigation water and are mired in poverty. Wetlands have been decimated in Europe, North America, and Asia, and fish populations are collapsing. Drought caused a more than 50 percent drop in Australia’s wheat production in 2007 and sparked a ten-year peak in global wheat prices.
Every year roughly 100,000 cubic kilometers of rain fall on earth—some 15,000 cubic meters per person per annum. The total amount of water that evaporates also is more or less constant. Population, however, is not constant. It has doubled in the last fifty years, resulting in a 50 percent decline in water availability per person.
As people accept that climate change is real and here to stay, they are likely to realize that while reducing greenhouse gas emissions is all about energy, adapting to climate change will be all about water.
This article presents a holistic view on the importance of water management. It makes me think: In the whole discussion about the global food crisis, did we forget the global water crisis?
Thanks to my Friend E. for the link.
More posts on the Road about water management, pollution and the environment.
Picture courtesy sbwater.org