“Peak Water”

Posted by Trish Riley, September 5, 2009

water cycleHere’s an excellent article assessing the future of water, sent by Ed Brown as a follow-up to the interesting presentation on local hydrology at this week’s Green Drinks Gainesville meeting:

Americans seem to have a problem facing up to imminent threats until they hit them like a sledgehammer. This penchant for delay is going to cause much heartache and pain for most Americans. Hoping for a good outcome will not work.

A looming future crisis of food shortages and skyrocketing commodity prices is inevitable. Peak water will play a significant role in the crisis. The facts are undeniable:

  • Droughts in key farming belt areas due to climate change.
  • Less snow pack in the mountains resulting in less freshwater flows during growing season.
  • Contamination of freshwater sources by industrial waste.
  • Soil erosion and depletion of underground aquifers.
  • Higher oil prices resulting in higher fertilizer costs, food transport, and industrial agriculture.
  • Expansion of bio-fuels as an energy source.
  • Worldwide population growth, with developing countries expanding the diets of their middle class.
  • Subsidies and tariffs that protect farmers and distort market prices.
  • Inability to transport water economically.

War over resources has happened before and it will happen again.

via “Peak Water” by James Quinn. FSO Editorial 08/31/2009.