No Blood For Water?

May 19, 2008

Make Wealth History has an eye-opening post on the conflicts that arise over access to fresh water as populations increase and sources deplete for a variety of reasons from global warming to simple human waste.

Some highlights (with my own, independently discovered sources in parentheses):

-In the past 50 years, there have been 37 armed military conflicts over freshwater access (PDFPacific Institute)

-For more than 200 days of the year, China’s Yellow River dries up before reaching the sea (Earth Policy Institute)

-Farming uses 80% of America’s water supply and the government subsidizes agriculture’s water use to the tune of $3 billion per year (I got smaller numbers from the USGS here and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD] on page 2 of a PDF here)

-“If you flushed a toilet today, you used more water in that one flush that 1 in 5 of the world’s people use in a whole day.” (Not sure where this is from or how to verify it – help?)

Read the full story at Make Wealth History here.


Something in the Water

March 10, 2008

Check this out.

Then this.

Now this.

And this.

PAULA ZAHN: I have to tell you, Elizabeth — good morning — I am so ticked about this. I’m one of those people that’s become accustomed to walking around with the big plastic bottle of water, and they laugh at me every morning because I try to …

ELIZABETH COHEN: You’re one of those nerds, is that it?

ZAHN: … I try to get through six glasses right here during the “American Morning” show. So I’ve been living in a state of flotation for many years here, and now you say I didn’t need to do this. What’s going on?

COHEN: Well, actually, before I tell you that, Paula, I have to ask you, do you sweat a lot during the show?

ZAHN: Never…

COHEN: Never, then you don’t need all that much water.

ZAHN: … because they keep the air conditioning here at like 60 degrees to make sure everybody’s alert and thinking well.

COHEN: Right, exactly.

Where do you get your water?