Boiling Point: What to Do About Looming Water Shortages?
By Ana Campoy
When world leaders meet next week in Copenhagen to talk about climate change and the fate of the planet, there will be one big, liquid elephant in the room: water shortage.
The problem could be as big as global warming: If the world doesn’t change the way it uses water, humanity will face a major shortfall by 2030, McKinsey said in a recent report. That’s a deficit of about 40% less water than what would be needed.
Drought is already ravaging places such as east Africa, with dying crops and cattle and hungry people. California’s water woes aren’t quite as extreme, but shortages have prompted higher prices and rationing.
Unlike worries about possible electricity shortages—which are already wracking policy makers from Capetown to Copenhagen—the specter of water shortages threatens more than just modern conveniences. “You can live without television, without a car, without a bicyle, without extra clothes. You can’t live without water,” says Margaret Catley-Carlson, chair of the World Economics’ Forum Global Agenda Council and a longtime water-conservation advocate.
Yet few policy makers are talking, never mind doing, much about the impending water debacle, the McKinsey report notes…………….
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