Showing posts from September 14, 2008

Running Dry/The answer is in irrigation

Running Dry


The world has a water shortage, not a food shortage

MOST people may drink only two litres of water a day, but they consume about 3,000 if the water that goes into their food is taken into account. The rich gulp down far more, since they tend to eat more meat, which takes far more water to produce than grains. So as the world’s population grows and incomes rise, farmers will—if they use today’s methods—need a great deal more water to keep everyone fed: 2,000 more cubic kilometres a year by 2030, according to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a research centre, or over a quarter more than they use today. Yet in many farming regions, water is scarce and likely to get scarcer as global warming worsens. The world is facing not so much a food crisis as a water crisis, argues Colin Chartres, IWMI’s director-general.

The solution, Mr Chartres and others contend, is more efficient use of water or, as the sloganeers put it, “more crop per drop”. Some 1.2 bill…

When It Comes To Water, Pickens Is Far From Green

Easy Pickens?

"While touting his plan to wean us off foreign oil, Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens says little of his intention to market fossil water. Thanks to help he obtained from the Texas Legislature, he has stacked the board of a tiny water district and by the power of eminent domain also granted him by the Legislature, he can force landowners to sell him rights to a 320-mile strip of land by which he will pipe the water down the same corridor to Dallas that he plans to use transmitting his wind power. But Pickens is just one of thousands of capitalists who sell precious Ogallala water for private gain. Like him, they are aided by government.

Pickens shouldn't be allowed to sell 65 billion gallons a year as he proposes, but neither should Plains farmers be allowed to pump 6.2 trillion gallons annually, over half of which is poured onto corn. With populations increasing and global warming likely to cause widespread drought, we should redirect the billions we spend on co…