In the southwest there is water, most of it is in the clouds that pass over us from West to East. Billions of tons of water floats above us every day. A large percentage of water is under ground. Only a small percentage of our water is in lakes and rivers.
98% of the Water in the Southwest is not usable, is salty or brackish. Only 2% is usable.
We are rapidly approaching the time when there will be more demand for water than there is supply. In BootheGlobalPerspectives there are a number of articles that addres the water shortage and increase in the price and cost of water that is coming.
We may see a time when water is more expensive than oil. Oil is a convenience, water is necessary for survival. Thus it is one of the essential elements of survival.
Think about water. It may be the source of wars and conflicts as our world moves forward.
you are correct it could be the next oil
This post shows a lack of understanding of human nature and basic economics.
If demand outstrips supply, then prices will have to up. If prices go up, then people will restrict their demand for water.
The question becomes then, how restricted will they be willing to go? The Southwest doesn't physically have enough water to support its current population - they've been shipping it in from Washington and other states for decades, but many of those states are having water problems of their own now. Personally, I think much of the Southwest is likely to become a ghost town in the next 50 years, certainly in the next 100.
There are things you can do to reduce water stress, such as rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, and replacing all paved surfaces with permeable ones to allow groundwater to replenish, but I doubt even those would be enough to support the Southwest at its current levels of consumption. Maybe with some really severe water restrictions so people stop trying to have 30 minute showers, clothes washed after every use, private swimming pools, and landscaping straight off an English country manor in a freaking desert...
There doesn't need to be any sort of central planning (not that you claimed there would be) because as prices go up people will make tough decisions.
There is plenty of water. Water is not captive to the market forces like oil. Someone can quite literally go to the ocean grab some water and put it on a black metal and let it evaporate and catch it. They have pure water. A person can also catch rain or get water in many other ways. Some one does not have to have technology to get water so in many places.........Water will be very inexpensive.
Water will be available in areas that have a lot of rain.
Areas that don't have rain will have higher expenses for water. In the past many towns formed near bodies of water or rivers because people needed water to survive and run industry. Technology and aqueducts allowed areas with very little water like the Southwest and dry parts of the world to have water.
I don't want this to sound callous but for some there will always be cheap water. In other places it wont. The solution as you know is that in some places people will have to use less water or pay a higher price.
In areas where people don't have the means, they will migrate to places where there is water. I am not writing this to chastise people but I do want to say that water and oil are not a similar commodity.
I have been saying for years that water will be more valuble then oil for 10 years and everybody looked at me like I had lost my mind. This water shortage is only the start
for numerous years, it is already a problem in water rich states, where supply and demand are high. water quality is poor in many areas and causes health problems.
anyone who claims water issues are as simple as supply and demand shows lack of knowledge on the serious water related issues facing our planet.
do a simple search on global water shortage..
Lack of forward planning and general world overpopulation will eventually make drinking water more valuable than gold is today.
They could build some resevoirs? Just like Nevada?
I guess that I am lucky to live in the UK then! On a serious note, it is actually really easy to desalinize water.
The technology is already there, it is already cheap enough, and with water will always be reusable.
Therefore, nope, water will not be the next oil. Water never dissapears, it never goes anywhere, it just moves around.
That means that water can never become more scarce, there will always be the same amount, and that is bleedin loads.
There are actually THREE completely developed sea water purification technologies, all of which are already in use. One is called Reverse Osmosis, another is Electro Dialysis, and the third is Distillation.
Reverse Osmosis simply involves passing water through a membrane, whilst Distillation is already widely used.
50% of the drinking water in Saudi Arabia is supplied via a single desalination plant in the city of Al Jubayl. If one plant can provide drinking water for 13.5 million people (approximately 50% of the Saudi population) then it is entirely clear that you are not going to run out of fresh water.
Unfortunately I think that proves your point wrong, there will not be any fresh water shortage in the US. Oil cannot be replaced, water can.
This is what's happening to Nevada's biggest reservoir:
Desalinization plants are definitely an interesting possibility for a place like California that has ocean access. I'm not sure how practical they'll be for more interior regions of the US, though. Bear in mind that we have 11 states that are bigger than your entire country, 31 if you consider only England itself. You can go almost anywhere in England and never be more than 100 miles from the nearest coast. (100 kilometers, even, upon closer inspection of a map.) I live 1000 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico, more than 1200 miles from the Atlantic, more than 1600 from the Pacific. Saudi Arabia is much bigger (several times the size of Texas), but also has no part of the country more than about 300 miles from a gulf or sea. Plus, it has some of the lowest fuel prices in the world.
My region is only under moderate stress, but less than 200 miles west of me in Western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, they rely on the Ogallala Aquifer, which is declining by up to 3 feet per year in some areas and may be completely gone within 25 years. This is an aquifer that took millions of years to form, and has only been tapped by humans since 1911.
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