Folsum Lake California USA - 2014

Water Wars

Living in drought stricken California can make a person water wary. So can living on an island, off of a well or simply residing in an area where water is scarce, like the desert. But when I read that water will mix with oil on the list of resources the world will run out of in the near future, I find it hard to fathom.

The Blue Planet

According to the USGS, about 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered. Approximately 332,500,000 cubic miles of the wet stuff. Unfortunately, it is mostly ocean water, unfit for what humans truly need to fill convenient plastic bottles with.

 

Earth's water

The above image shows all Earth's water, liquid fresh water, and water in lakes and rivers

Spheres showing:
(1) All water (sphere over western U.S., 860 miles in diameter)
(2) Fresh liquid water in the ground, lakes, swamps, and rivers (sphere over Kentucky, 169.5 miles in diameter), and
(3) Fresh-water lakes and rivers (sphere over Georgia, 34.9 miles in diameter).
Credit: Howard Perlman, USGS; globe illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (©); Adam Nieman.

Technology to the Rescue

Certainly, this is one calamity that technology can help us avoid. Scan most future technology timelines and you'll see that by 2050, I should be able to take my 91 year-old transhuman-self to an A.I. concert on a hoverboard made of flying nanobots. But, getting the salt out of water will be too tough? Really?

Supply and Da' Man

Round' here, (North America), we have more water breaks than a city maternity ward. Approximately 850 water main breaks each day. The reasons run clear. Out of sight--out of mind, and behemoth muninciple services often become reactive instead of proactive.

Governments everywhere need to step up their efforts and work together to supply the world with clean fresh water, now and in the future. And yes, I know I wrote that sentence with my head in the clouds. Realistically, society's leaders will do little until the public or the situation demands it.

Wars Over Water?

Water is a finite resource that is essential to human existence. If you say that water could become a resource like oil, that economic or even military wars are fought over, you'd be right as rain. Of course, just because It could happen, doesn't mean it will.

I look to technology to solve future coal and oil shortages with alternative energies. Food shortages with biotechnology. Water shortages, through cost effective desalinization, nanotechnology-based filters, self-cleaning and hydrophobic surfaces, and other technologies not even thought of yet. Like the ability to manuever a raincloud over Coober Pedy. What an optimist!

 

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