Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on October 26, 2010

There were a couple of good features the other day about water. H2O is one of the four elements, and is utterly vital to life on earth. Water and fire ( or the combination of air and earth) are perhaps the two unique features of the planet, and could be considered the product of G-d ( who is sometimes considered the fifth element). Water is often in short supply, even as the majority of the planet is covered with it.

A Philosopher’s Blog has a feature, “The future of water”. (Philosopher uses the Journalist 1.3 template, the same as Chamblee54). This post is more of an overview, about the way in which civilization increases the use of water.
“To be specific, as developing nations develop, they will tend to use more water per person as diets, hygiene practices, and consumer consumption changes. For example, if a person in China goes from living in a village to living in a city and starts eating more meat and buying more consumer goods, then that person’s water use (direct and indirect) will increase. After all, water consumption is not just about what we drink or flush. It also includes what is needed to grow our food, make our stuff, and so on.”
A list of related articles leads to Water is the new oil. There is more beef here. Speaking of beef, did you know that it takes 15,000 liters of water to produce a kilo of beef, compared to 1,000 liters for a kilo of wheat. ( Beef produces more carbon pollution as well. One disaster at a time.)

It seems as though Russia has the planet’s second largest supply of fresh water (after Brazil). The world’s largest lake, with 20 percent of the world’s fresh water (Baikal), is in Russia. The trouble is, Baikal is in south Siberia, near Mongolia, and a long pipeline away from the Russian population centers. ( It is a bit closer to water short North China, but there are some more politics to deal with. )

Many of the world’s poor nations are the ones with the worst water shortages. Often, the shortages are compounded by contamination issues.
“Health problems which poor water quality can cause are also hard to deny, with an estimated 80 per cent of diseases in the world linked to it in some way. For instance, world’s largest mass arsenic poisoning – which is believed to have affected up to 77 million people in Bangladesh over 40 years and account for some 20 per cent of deaths in the country – was caused by contaminated water. “
The water in the oceans has salt, and is unfit for drinking or agriculture. Desalination is an expensive, energy intensive process. Steps are being made to improve the efficiency of this desalination. This will help only the coastal regions, which historically have the largest watersheds feeding into them.

As you may know, the Atlanta water supply is a ticking time bomb. The metro area draws on a tiny watershed, and has been developed without concern over future water supplies. The politicians in the elections this year are notoriously silent on this issue. They know that building a pipeline to the Tennessee River will be an expensive affair, but they are too busy promising to cut taxes.

2 Responses

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  1. Gary Simmons said, on October 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Once again your writing has had a strange effect on me. When I finished the last sentence I got up and without thinking and drank a bottle of water.

    I had drunk half of it when I realized that I wasn’t even thirsty.

    I can only hope I am not close to a bank with a gun when you write about money.

    Enjoyed both the words and the pics. One day maybe you will change your mind about, God. Hope you didn’t mind. I spelled it out.

    Have a great day my friend,


    • chamblee54 said, on October 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Thanks for stopping by.
      I have to disagree with you though. If I give G-d for creating water, that would be a compliment. That may be one of her finest inventions. If we didn’t have water, we might not have life on this planet. Maybe some other planet has a better plan, but we will probably never find out.

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