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SPECIAL REPORT by Lady Michelle Jennifer Santos – TSR Founder & Publisher and Strategy/Peace Negotiator with the UN Security Council Special Envoy to the Arab Nations
July 12, 2011 (TSR) – Water is not a renewable resource. The majority of people think about water quantity when they are pumping, but rarely do they ask about renewability. People have been mining it without restraint because it has not been priced properly. Just like everything else, we take it for granted.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.7 billion people still lack access to clean water. 2.3 billion people suffer from water-borne diseases each year.
The signs of a shrinking water supply can be seen worldwide. Water-intensive agriculture, population growth, industrial pollution, breakneck development and other ecological threats are depleting freshwater supplies. Most restaurants no longer provide a free glass of water to diners and cities restrict its use for private pools and gardens. More than 98 percent of the Earth’s water is saltwater, and most of the rest is locked in polar ice caps. The world’s lakes, rivers and streams account for just 1 percent of the freshwater. Scientists say any shrinking of the ice caps may only intensify the supply problem by raising saltwater levels.
When water becomes an expensive market commodity, social cohesion erodes in neighborhoods and communities. The result is that basic rights become privileges that are earned only by the depth of one’s pocket.
There is a growing struggle against corporations growing water-thirsty cash crops destined for export, while millions of people still go thirsty or fall sick from polluted water. Multinational corporations have taken advantage of the growing water crisis in Africa for financial gain. Aided by the World Bank, corporations receive subsidies to privatize water utilities and management. The corporations cherry pick water systems that are profitable and demand contracts that ignore the needs of the poor.
Policies driven by institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have left little room for local decisions and instead have forced privatization of water on poor countries. These international finance institutions make loans contingent on privatization and increased cost recovery‚ which often requires charging high fees for water even for people living in extreme poverty. The results in numerous countries have been disastrous – less access to water for the poor, extremely high rates, and poor water quality.
To make matters worse, some of the biggest food companies in the world are now modifying rivers to transport cheap agricultural commodities from inland areas out to coastal ports to be exported. Not only are these companies shipping massive quantities of cash crops and the water used to grow them to be used somewhere else, but they are also getting public funding to do it.
Water quality and availability will make political disputes worse. In 2006, the United Nations predicted that half the African population will live in countries facing water stress within 25 years. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest level access to potable water and sanitation in the world; 55 percent of the population lives without access to clean water.
Today, nine of the 10 nations with the “most extreme risk” of interruptions to water supply are in the Middle East and North Africa. North Africa receives little rain, and its population is concentrated on the coasts, where groundwater reserves are becoming increasingly brackish – a slightly salty taste due to the mixture of river water and seawater – and nearing depletion while the Middle East faces highest risk of water shortage.
The Yemen crisis, for instance, is far more immediate, as their fossil water will soon be depleted. The Sana’a Basin is down to its last few years of extractable water. Worsening the situation is Yemen’s tenuous government, shaky economy, and role as a haven for terrorists.
Latin America is active in fighting back against the abuses of their land and water. The “water war” waged by Cochabamba residents in Bolivia in 2000, led by trade unions and campesino organizations against private water giant Bechtel, inaugurated a decade of resistance against corporate control over water in Latin America. This movement has has already resulted constitutional reforms to prevent water privatization and ensure public control of water resources in Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia and a successful constitutional plebiscite in Uruguay.
In China, 20 percent of the world’s people live there, yet only 7 percent of the fresh water supply is in China.
FACT: A typical American uses more water flushing toilets each day than the water available to an average person in Africa.
BEHOLD THE MIRACLE UNDER THE SANDS OF TIME
Sahara, an arid abode of sand dunes and fossils, was a much wetter environment 5,000 years ago. Desert cliff drawings from that time depict giraffes, elephants, and hippos. Much of the water that fed that ecosystem seeped through layers of sandstone to form “fossil water”—nonrenewable aquifers dating from at least 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.
Paleowater, or fossil water, is as valuable as fossil fuel and the only option in desert nations, who are its obvious only users. This ancient freshwater was created eons ago and trapped underground in huge reservoirs, or aquifers. Agricultural projects harnessing fossil water have been successful in several places.
Many people are using it, and using it up, without knowing. And like oil, no one knows how much there is—but as we know of all our natural resources, when it’s gone, it’s gone.
The North Western Sahara Aquifer System. North Western Sahara Aquifer System (widely known under the French acronym SASS) is shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. SASS covers a total area of more than 1 million sq Km, and contains considerable water reserves estimated at 30,000 billion m3. The trans-boundary nature of this major aquifer exposes it to various risks such as over-exploitation, and water quality degradation.
The North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS), shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, contains considerable water reserves which are, however, mostly non-renewable and not fully exploitable. The NWSAS covers an area of over 1 million Km2 and includes two main deep aquifer layers: the Intercalary Continental and the Terminal Complex. During the last thirty years, withdrawals from NWSAS grew apace from 0.6 to 2.5 billion m3/an. Due to the non-concerted withdrawal multiplication, the resource is currently confronting many risks such as water salinity, declining artesianism, natural discharge depletion, piezometric level drawdown, or interferences between the countries.
The Great Man-Made River of Libya. The world’s biggest effort to reclaim deposits of fossil water is the Great Man-Made River in Libya, for which Gaddafi has spent $30 billion over the past three decades building for his people and given as a gift to the Third World without any financial or help from the USA, World Bank or IMF.
Libya‘s 95% desert land is habitable because of this 1,200 miles of high quality vast reservoirs of fossil water, with 1,500 wells pumping as much as 1.7 billion gallons (6.5 million cubic meters) of fresh water each day from the Sahara to cities on the Mediterranean coast— some of them 75,000 years old — which were discovered in the form of aquifers during the 1950s oil explorationsdeep in the southern Libyan desert.
The Gaddafi Vision. Muammar Gaddafi and his Great Man-Made River Project was launched in the 1980s – an epic system of pipes, reservoirs, and engineering infrastructure is still being built. When finished, it will pump from circa 1,300 paleowater wells and move 230 million cubic feet (6.5 million cubic meters) of H2O every day. Construction of the first phase started in 1984,
and cost about $5 billion. Gaddafi spent $30 billion (USD) – all of which solely paid for by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund.
Gaddafi and the Libyan Arab people’s aim and vision for this project: To make Libya a source of agricultural abundance, capable of producing adequate food and water to supply its own needs and to share with neighboring countries. In short, self-sufficiency for Libya.
The Great Man-Made River, is the largest water transport project ever undertaken in the world, and has been described as the “eighth wonder of the world”. There are four major underground basins: The Kufra basin, the Sirt basin, the Morzuk basin and the Hamada basin. The first three contains combined reserves of 35,000 cubic kilometers of water. It carries more than five million cubic meters of water per day across the desert to coastal areas, vastly increasing the amount of arable land. The estimate amount of water in the Nile River? 200 years. Thus, the vast reserves offer almost unlimited amounts of water for the Libyan people, which also can be shared to the Middle East and Africa.
The Western Business Multi-Agendas. Virtually unknown to the world, this incredibly huge and impressive Gaddafi and Libya water project rivals and surpasses all the greatest development projects by so-called “advanced” countries, particularly the West.
London and Washington circles were extremely indignant about the Libyan water project. The London Financial Times ran criticisms of the project from Angus Henley of the London-based Middle East Economic Digest, “Qaddafi’s pet project. He wants to be seen as something other than the scourge of the West.” The Financial Times called the project Qaddafi’s “pipedream,” stating that critics may be awed by the engineering involved, “But they regard the dream as a monument to vanity that makes little economic sense in a country where the U.N. Development Program says 94.6% of territory is desert wasteland.”
That is the official global mass media cosmetic mask version of the naysayers.
The real truth for the apoplectic attack? The West simply refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than six million, can construct anything such awe-inspiring and mind-blowing large project without borrowing a single cent from the international banks. The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has liquid cash and owes no debt to any nation nor institution. All due to Gaddafi’s leadership and stewardship of Libyan oil earned assets.
The Great Man-Made River project and its objectives fly in the face of the water-control schemes sanctioned by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). World Bank, IMF and the U.S. State Department only backs and promotes their politically favored projects like that “Middle East Water Summit” in Turkey, desalination plants in Saudi Arabia and water shortages elsewhere.
A prime example of “great projects” that these institutions have blocked work on is the Jonglei Canal–the huge ditch that was designed as a straight channel on the upper White Nile in southern Sudan. The Jonglei Canal, which stands half-finished and abandoned at present, would have drained swamplands, aided agriculture, transportation, power resources, and health, and provided expanded flow to the Nile River all the way down to Egypt.
Over the last 20 years, the water improvement projects envisioned for Egypt, which could provide more water and more hectares of agricultural and residential land, have been repeatedly sabotaged by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and the Anglo-American financial interests behind them.
U.S. also invested $600 million to Jordan in order to tap Jordan’s last primary water reserve, the Disi aquifer, on the border with Saudi Arabia.?Jordan hopes that the country’s large fossil-water resources can help stem its chronic water shortage.?The project envisions a system that can move 3.5 billion cubic feet (99 million cubic meters) of water each year over a mostly uphill, 200-mile-long (320 kilometer-long) stretch from the remote southern desert to the capital city of Amman.
Gaddafi and Libya build their Dream. Libyans are a proud people and no one, who is not a Libyan, tells them what to do. Thus, Gaddafi and the Libyan Arab people went ahead with their dream of self-sufficiency with no care for anyone’s approval, and especially, not the West.
Under the guidance of their “Father” Gaddafi, the people of Libya Arab Jamahiriya, initiated a series of scientific studies on the possibility of accessing this vast ocean of fresh water, i.e. fossil water. Considerations on new agricultural projects close to the sources of the water, in the desert were also simultaneously being developed. However, they realized that the project a very large infrastructure organization and necessitates a major redistribution of the population from the coastal belt. The alternative was to ‘bring the water to the people’.
In October 1983, the Great Man-made River Authority was created and invested with the responsibility of taking water from the aquifers in the south, and conveying it by the most economical and practical means for use, predominantly for irrigation, in the Libyan coastal belt.
South Korean construction experts built the huge pipes in Libya by some of the most modern techniques. The engineering feat involves collecting water from 270 wells in east central Libya, and transporting it through about 2,000 kilometers of pipeline to Benghazi and Sirte. The new “river” brings 2 million cubic meters of water a day. At completion, the system will involve 4,000 kilometers of pipepines, and two aqueducts of some 1,000 kilometers.
By 1996 the Great Man-Made River Project had reached one of its final stages, the gushing forth of sweet unpolluted water to the homes and gardens of the citizens of Libya’s capital Tripoli. A gala inauguration ceremony, marked the end of Phase I of the project, was held in Libya at the end of August, at which Libyan leaders “turned on the tap” of the Great Man-Made River, the water pipeline/viaduct project designed to bring millions of liters of water from beneath the Sahara Desert, northward to the Benghazi region on the Mediterranean coast.
Dozens of Arab and African heads of state and hundreds of other foreign diplomats and delegations joined in celebrating the inauguration of the artificial river, like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, King Hassan of Morocco, the head of Sudan, Gen. Omar El Beshir, and Djibouti’s President Hassan Julied. Louis Farrakhan, who took part in the opening ceremony, described the Great Man-Made River as “another miracle in the desert.”
Gaddafi presented the project to the cheering crowd as a “gift to the Third World”. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, addressing an audience that included Libyans and many foreign guests, Col. Gaddafi said, the project “was the biggest answer to America… who accuse us of being concerned with terrorism. After this achievement, American threats against Libya will double…. The United States will make excuses, [but] the real reason is to stop this achievement, to keep the people of Libya oppressed.”
The Miracle’s viable projectiles. Over 95% of Libya is desert, and the new water sources can open up thousands of hectares of irrigated farmland. At present over 80% of the country’s agriculture production comes from the coastal regions, where local aquifers have been overpumped, and salt water intrusion is taking place. The Great Man-Made River will relieve this. The water now flowing will immediately supplement supplies for domestic and industrial needs in Benghazi and Sirte. In this giant scheme, water is pumped from aquifers under the Sahara in the southern part of the country, where underground water resources extend into Egypt and Sudan. Then the water is transported by reinforced concrete pipeline to northern destinations.
Consisting of a network of pipes buried underground to eliminate evaporation, four meters in diameter, the project extends for four thousand kilometres far deep into the desert. All material is locally engineered and manufactured. Underground water is pumped from 270 wells hundreds of meters deep into reservoirs that feed the network. The cost of one cubic meter of water equals 35 cents. The cubic meter of desalinized water is $3.75.
Libyan officials plan for 80% of the overall project’s flow to eventually be used for irrigating old farms, and reclaiming some desert lands. Since 20% of Libya’s imports are foodstuffs, expanded water supplies are a means to greater self-sufficiency.
Gaddafi and the Neighborly issues. Mubarak spoke at the 1996 Great Man-Made River Inaugural ceremony and stressed the regional importance of the project. Gaddafi called on Egyptian farmers to come and work in Libya, where there are only 4 million inhabitants at the time. Egypt’s population of 55 million is crowded in narrow bands along the Nile River and delta region.
In the 1970s, Qaddafi expelled many Egyptian families from Libya, but over the recent years the two countries have become close once again. There were plans to build a railway line to facilitate the two nations travel back and forth. There was also a standing commission plans between Sudan and Libya for integrating economic activity.
But even with that 1,800 miles of giant hydrological enterprise in operation, Libya still depends on foreign markets for three-quarters of its grain. To make his desert nation self-sufficient in food, Gaddafi made some long-term deals with nearby countries to grow food for Libya.
The Western African state of Mali has become dependent on Libya for aid and investment, funding its government buildings, hotels, and other high-profile infrastructure. Thus, a secret deal was struck between Mali’s president, Amadou Toumani Toure, and Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi became the solution to enhance Libyan food security by receiving 50 years worth of undisclosed rights, paid by the Libya Africa Portfolio Fund for Investment. Libyan-controlled organization called Malibya oversees the Libyan enterprise: A canal stretching 25 miles north from the River Niger to 250,000 acres of proposed irrigated land at the edge of the marshes, to divert large amounts of Niger River water for extensive irrigation upstream. It was dug in 2010 by Chinese contractors, who are now preparing the first 15,000 acres of fields.
The scale of the project is astounding. The director general of Malibya, Abdalilah Youssef, boasted in 2008 that the canal could supply up to 4 cubic kilometers of water a year to the enterprise’s fields of rice, tomatoes, and fodder crops for cattle. The current take for all other existing irrigation projects is 2.7 cubic kilometers a year, it grabs as much as 210 cubic meters a second, potentially more than doubling the amount of water taken from the river for irrigation.
Larger than Belgium, it is Africa’s second-largest floodplain and one of its most unique wetlands. Seen from space, it is an immense smudge of green and blue on the edge of the Sahara.
It will dry the Niger river that feeds the inland delta, diminishing the seasonal floods that support rich biodiversity — and thriving agriculture and fisheries vital to a million of Mali’s poorest citizens. The inland Niger delta of Mali is a unique wetland ecosystem that supports a million farmers, fishermen, and herders and a rich diversity of wildlife. It nurtures abundant fish for the Bozo people, who lay their nets in every waterway and across the lakes. As the waters recede, they leave wet soils in which the Bambara people plant millet and rice, and they expose vast aquatic pastures of bourgou (or hippo grass) that sustain cattle and goats brought by nomadic Fulani herders from as far away as Mauritania and Burkina Faso. The rights to harvest the delta’s fish and graze pastures are based on long-standing custom neither known nor recognized beyond its borders.
“More people will lose than win from most irrigation projects in Mali. These projects will decrease food security by damaging the livelihoods of those most vulnerable. What they are trying to do at the moment makes no sense because there is simply not enough water.”
Jane Madgwick, CEO of Netherlands-based Wetlands International
engineers at the Office du Niger — an agency created by presidential fiat to develop land upstream of the inner Niger delta — admit they are struggling to maintain the minimum flow of 40 cubic meters a second down the Niger to the delta during the dry season, when an estimated 70 percent of river flow goes to farms rather than the wetland. The effects of taking more could be catastrophic on the floating forests and bourgou pastures at the heart of the delta’s ecosystems and human livelihoods.
A vital green resource for both humans and wildlife on the edge of the Sahara, the delta is a wintering ground for millions of migrating European birds and is vital to the flow of the Niger River and its fisheries. All this is threatened by the Libyan project. For example, planned dams and diversions will reduce the growth of the important bourgou grasses by almost two-thirds, according to a study by Leo Zwarts, a water management expert for the Dutch government.
THE BUSINESS OF BLUE GOLD
The lack of usable water worldwide has made it more valuable than oil. The water industry is the third world’s biggest industry, generating as much as $450 billion in revenue each year, trailing only electricity and oil.
Companies worldwide have looked at water for the last 20 years as an exciting viable vehicles with which people can buy into the asset. However, the prospects are slim for creation of water futures or some other way to invest directly in the commodity since it is politically sensitive. Most water supplies are owned by governments, reducing the chances for investments. The cost of water is usually set by government agencies and local regulators.
It is important to note that international financial institutions (World Bank and IMF) have forced many countries to sell their public water utilities to big water corporations.
Water Fund. Water already is rising in value faster than many commodities. The 35 percent annual return over three years for the Bloomberg water index beats the 27 percent return for the Bloomberg World Basic Materials Index, which includes 239 companies that produce commodities such as copper, aluminum, paper and steel. Both indexes peaked in May. The water index is down 12 percent since then, and the basic materials stocks are down 17 percent.
It is a finite resource that doesn’t trade on commodity exchanges yet hedge fund managers like Hans Peter Portner, who manages a $2.9 billion Water Fund at Pictet Asset Management in Geneva whose fund jumped 26 percent last year, forecasts annual returns of 8 percent through 2020. Pictet follows price trends in California, the most populous U.S. state, where increases have averaged 6.3 percent a year from 1989 to 2005. Oil gained an average 7.7 percent over that period based on futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
General Electric Co. Chairman Jeffrey Immelt says “scarce” clean water worldwide will more than double the revenue he gets from water purification and treatment to $5 billion by 2010.
Jim Rogers, former hedge fund partner of George Soros gave an interview with the BCC, on January 2011, where he talked about the great investment opportunities in water, “Water is going to be a great growth industry, because India has a huge water problem, China does, America does. Many places have big water problems, so huge fortunes will be made in water in the future.”
Just like many hedge fund money managers, Jim Rogers sees great opportunity in the companies that provide the water infrastructure. However, owning actual water rights may be politically risky, “Countries can survive civil war, epidemics, all sorts of things, but one thing the countries cannot survive is that they run out of water. China has a terrible water problem in the north as does India, which has an even worse problem. So if you can figure out a way to transport it, pump it, clean it, whatever you got to do, you will make a lot of money in water.”
NOTE: Recently, Carlyle Group purchased a California and Montana water companies. They also now submitted their IPO plans, and JP Morgan with 2 other banks handle the underwriting.
Pickens’s Plan. Pickens, the Dallas hedge fund manager and oil billionaire, spent more than $50 million for water rights around his 24,000- acre ranch in North Texas. He has enough water to serve 20 percent of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Currently, he is trying to convince Texas cities to buy his water, and needs a commitment before he can build a $2 billion pipeline system.
Guy Hands’s buyout firm, Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd. in London, is one of several private equity investors interested in buying RWE AG’s Thames Water Plc unit, the Daily Mail reported June 24, without saying where it got the information. Thames, the largest U.K. water company with 13 million customers in London and southeast England, may sell shares to the public as early as October, the newspaper said.
Veolia, Suez. The two biggest water companies are Veolia and Suez, both based in Paris. Veolia owns utilities that provide water and sewer service to 110 million people. The company, whose shares are up 26 percent in the past year, owns the transport and energy services businesses spun off by Vivendi.
After the spinoff in 2000, Messier, 49, reduced Vivendi’s stake in the 152-year-old old water company to raise cash for his entertainment empire. In the five years ending May 31, the average annual return for Veolia is little changed, while Vivendi shares have lost 16 percent.
Vivendi had the biggest loss in French history in 2001, after Messier’s $100 billion spending spree. Vivendi shares lost as much as 94 percent of their value between March 2000 and August 2002. Messier founded Messier Partners, an advisory bank, after leaving Vivendi in July 2002.
Shares of Suez, which has agreed to be bought by Gaz de France, jumped 37 percent in the past year. Suez was created in the 1997 merger of the company that built the Suez Canal and Lyonnaise des Eaux, a drinking water and sewage system provider. Suez since then shed its U.S. water chemicals businesses and sold the Northumbrian Water unit in the U.K. to investors, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
NOTE: Belgium’s richest man, Albert Frere, has a 2.7 billion-euro ($3.4 billion) investment in water and energy through his stake in Suez SA, the world’s second-biggest owner of water utilities after Veolia Environnement, spun off by Vivendi in 2000.
General Electric, the world’s most valuable company after ExxonMobil Corp., is for its water division to invest in desalinization and purification plants in countries that lack freshwater. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest source of oil, is a potential customer.
In Algeria, a GE desalination plant provides 50 million gallons of drinking water a day for a nearby city. They got a pipeline of 50 to 60 more of those projects in Algeria in Spain, in the Middle East, in India, in China.
POINTS TO PONDER
Water is not only essential for life, but for growing food as well. But while the global demand for water is on the rise, the supply is shrinking. Fossil water can only fill critical temporary needs. Water-intensive industrial agriculture, urban and industrial pollution, breakneck industrial development and other ecological threats are depleting freshwater supplies.
Fossil Water threats. In a very arid region people, where water is scarce, there’s no room to argue how old the water is, but in semi-arid areas, the ability to delineate between fossil water and replenished groundwater is always important. Globally, wells are often drilled to about 320 feet (100 meters) and only the top couple of meters of that are recent water. Bringing fossil water to the surface also causes other water quality issues. When aquifers are depleted, it is subject to an influx of surrounding contaminants such as saltwater—a particular problem near coastal areas. Just as in oil fields, depleting fossil water aquifers too quickly can and will reduce underground pressures and render large quantities of water essentially irretrievable.
The other threats are also the radioactive isotopes that have been present in Earth’s atmosphere only since humans initiated the nuclear era. Water is contaminated naturally by sandstone, which has slowly leached radioactive contaminants over the eons. Fortunately, scientists say radiation contamination can be fixed through a simple water-softening process, though it does cost money and creates radioactive waste that must be disposed of properly.
Radiation contamination has been found in Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Libya. Jordan’s Disi fossil water was recently found to contain 20 times higher than normal, which is not unusual according to geochemists and water-quality experts. Its radiation levels are still considered safe for drinking.
Saudi Arabia has also attempted tapping fossil waters. Like the Jordanians, the Saudis already draw water for drinking and agriculture from the Disi, which Saudis call the Saq aquifer. But the reality is, Saudi kingdom needs to spend more than $80 billion by 2025 on desalinization plants and sewer facilities as its population grows to about 30 million by 2020 from about 26 million today.
In northern India, where New Delhi and Jaipur are draining fossil-water reserves along with water recharged by the annual monsoons, scientists measured their aquifer usage and paints us a disturbing picture.
FACT: It takes 634 gallons (2,400 liters) of water to produce one hamburger, 37 gallons (140 liters) for a cup of coffee, and 1,082 gallons (4,096 liters) to make a cotton t-shirt.
As water becomes less accessible, so does food. Of the less than 1 percent of freshwater available for human use, 70 percent of it goes toward growing food and raising animals. Fresh water for irrigation is never returned to underground basins. Most is lost through leaks and evaporation. Food is also a means by which water is moved, or imported and exported, around the world. Water has much in common with oil. Some countries have sufficient, others don’t. Both water and energy are key inputs into any economy, so countries without the basic source will depend on other countries that do have it. North Africa and the Middle East, but also countries like Mexico and Japan are heavily dependent on the import of water-intensive commodities.
You may find that the rice you bought today was grown in a dry region of Jordan with the help of highly engineered, but not always very efficient, irrigation systems. For example, northern China annually exports to south China about 1.8 trillion cubic feet (52 billion cubic meters) of water indirectly through foodstuffs and other products.
In 2008 a long-running program to sustain a nascent wheat industry with fossil water was scrapped; it simply sucked up too much rare water. Thus, the Saudi government will rely entirely on wheat imports by 2016.
As the Third World gets richer, it eats more, particularly more meat. To produce one ton of meat takes 7 tons of corn. To produce 7 tons of corn takes 7,000 gallons of water. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, the use of freshwater for human consumption, agriculture and industry may rise 22 percent by 2025, compared with 1995 levels.
Thus, it is important to remember the global economic and financial impact – as the price of water rises, the price of agricultural (food) commodities prices.
Time — and Water are Running Out. A NASA study found that humans are using more water than rains can replenish, and area groundwater levels declined by an average of one foot (30 centimeters) per year between 2002 and 2008.
We underestimate our water resources and the inefficiency in aiding nations is also causing trans-border political issues such as Darfur and Mali. Many are not also aware of the long-standing controversial dispute between Egypt and upstream African nations over who has rights to the waters of the Nile and its profound consequences for the ecological health of the river and for one of the world’s largest tropical wetlands.
Moreover, if parts of the Sahara and Sahel deserts’ irrigation patterns, crop patterns, and changes in soil after pumping water are examined, the exploitation going on in terms of water or hydrocarbons show signs that there is a minute lowering of the land surface. NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites confirms that when underground reservoir levels change, they slightly alter Earth’s gravitational field.
Water infrastructure and measures. According to World Water Council in Marseilles, circa $180 billion a year needs to be invested in water infrastructure in developing countries such as China and India, double the amount that’s being spent now.
More efficient irrigation practices, such as drip and micro-sprinklers, can reduce the volume of water applied to agricultural fields by 30-70 percent and can increase crop yields by 20-90 percent. Drip irrigation is used on less than 2 percent of irrigated land worldwide and reducing U.S. irrigation demands by even 10 percent could free up enough freshwater to meet the new urban and industrial water demands anticipated for 2025.
We cannot afford to take anything for granted anymore and must understand that humans and nature can live not just in harmony but in synergy. Thus, it is of urgent importance to implement global water conservation measures, water-availability information, critical resources and new technologies to help nations work together. Our failure to act now will have repercussions for the fate and survival of the human race and every form of life on this planet.
AUTHOR: Lady Michelle Jennifer Santos – TSR Founder & Publisher and Strategy/Peace Negotiator with the UN Security Council Special Envoy to the Arab Nations (Author BIOGRAPHY here.)
NOTE: To the people who wonder who I am and where I got my information, the only way for you to verify is you can ask the highest level executives and world leaders at the United Nations. My name is in the most highly classified papers. My UN mentor is a First Level Ambassador. It is the highest ranking ambassador and diplomat on the planet. His uncle was one of the founders of the United Nations. He was grooming me. I am very much an insider and these TRUTHS are being suppressed purposely. Many of the things I write are parts of the puzzles I’ve solved for the purpose of Defending Humanity.