01 June 2007

Environment: Is Water the New Oil?

YaleGlobal Online this week features an article by Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of Arghyam, a charitable foundation that supports a safe and sustainable global water supply, on the future of a world facing increasingly scarce fresh water. This from the YaleGlobal intro:

Water is more vital for human life than oil – and environmentalists, corporations, communities and governments increasingly recognize its unequal distribution around the globe could lead to severe environmental degradation and intense conflicts in the years ahead.

Less than 3 percent of the world’s water is potable – and climate change is already rapidly diminishing the vast stores of freshwater stored in glaciers and polar ice. Nilekani suggests that individual awareness combined with some global leadership must focus on sustaining life on the planet rather than modern lifestyles – and could reduce waste, overpopulation and unsustainable practices. Otherwise, warns Nilekani, the conflicts over water will make the oil crisis “seem like the trailer of some horrible disaster movie.”

With water already in short supply for more than 20 percent of the world’s people, no person can afford to take freshwater for granted.

Read the full article: Is Water the Next Oil?

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