Thursday, September 13, 2012

Laissez-faire failing world’s dwindling water resources

Stephen Leahy in IPS: Growing water shortages in many countries are a major threat to global security and development and should be a top priority at the U.N. Security Council, a panel of experts said in a new report.

However, that report ignores the biggest threat to water security: neoliberal policies of the free market economic system laying waste to the natural world and turning water into a commodity, activists counter.

China and India will not have enough fresh water to meet their needs before 2030, according to the “Global Water Crisis” report released this week. Well before that time, water shortages will increase conflicts and worsen instability in sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia and North Africa, it warned. “Using water the way we have in the past simply will not sustain humanity in future,” said Chrétien, a co-chair of the InterAction Council (IAC), a group of 40 prominent former government leaders.

The IAC, the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health, and Canada’s Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation convened a conference of water experts in 2011 whose deliberations ultimately resulted in the report: “The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue”.

With about one billion more mouths to feed worldwide by 2025, global agriculture alone will require additional water equivalent to the annual flow of 20 Niles or 100 Colorado Rivers every year, the report found. Meanwhile, greater competition between the energy sector and other water users for already limited freshwater resources in many regions will impact future energy development, with significant potential impacts on energy reliability and security....

Kvinnefossen is a 120m high waterfall on road Rv55 in Leikanger municipality 2km east of Hella, Norway, shot by Sogning, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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