Atmospheric Water Generator Thailand,Malaysia and Indonesia. By WaterMicronWorld.
As well as creating major environmental problems, over tapping of ground water and rivers is exacerbating another potential crisis-world food security
Irrigation for crop production claims 65 percent of all water used by humans, compared to 25 percent for industry and 10 percent for households and municipalities. The annual rise in population means that more water is needed every year for grain production (for humans and animals), a highly water-intensive activity. But, every year the world’s burgeoning cities and industries are demanding more and more of the water earmarked for agriculture. California, for example, now projects a serious decline in irrigated lands just as its population is exploding.
Eventually, some dry areas will not be able to serve both the needs of farming and those of the ballooning cities. If these regions are to meet everyday water requirements, they might have to permanently import all or most of their food. This raises the prospect that lack of water will make some countries chronically dependent on others, or on the international community at large.
Throughout rural Latin America and Asia, massive industrialization is throwing off the balance between humans and nature. Export-oriented agribusiness is claiming more and more of the water once used by small farmers for food self-sufficiency. Another major drain on local water supplies are the more than 800 Third World free trade zones, such as those in Latin America, where assembly lines produce goods for the global consumer elite. In the maquiladora zones of Mexico, for example, clean water is so scarce that babies and children drink Coca-Cola and Pepsi instead. During a drought crisis in northern Mexico in t 995, the government cut water supplies to local farmers while ensuring emergency supplies to the mostly foreign controlled industries of the region.
The story is perhaps most stark in China. The Worldwatch Institute warns that an unexpectedly abrupt decline in the supply of water for China’s farmers could threaten world food security. China faces severe grain shortages in the near future because of water depletion due to the current shift of limited water resources from agriculture to industry and cities. The resulting demand for grain in China could exceed the world’s available exportable supplies. While China might be able to survive this for a time because of its booming economy and huge trade surpluses, the resulting higher grain prices will create social and political upheaval in most major Third World cities and shake global food security.
The western half of China is made up mostly of deserts and mountains; the vast bulk of the country’s 1.2 billion citizens live on several great rivers whose systems cannot sustain the demands currently placed upon them. For instance, in t 972, the Yellow River failed to reach the sea for the first time in history. That year it failed on t5 days; every year since, it has run dry for more days. In 1997, it failed to reach the sea for 226 days. The story is the same with all of China’s rivers and with its depleting water tables beneath the North China Plain. As big industrial wells probe the ground ever deeper to tap the remaining water, millions of Chinese farmers have found their wells pumped dry. Four hundred of China’s 600 northern cities are already facing severe water shortages, which affects over half of China’s population.
These shortages come at a time when China will see a population increase in the next 30 years greater than the entire population of the United States, when conservative estimates predict that annual industrial water use in China could grow from 52 billion tons to 269 billion tons in the same period, and when rising incomes are enabling millions of Chinese to install indoor plumbing with showers and flush toilets. The Worldwatch Institute predicts China will be the first country in the world that will have to literally restructure its economy to respond to water scarcity.
By Jenny WaterMicronWorld