Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is Water Scarcity The Most Pressing Environmental Problem We Face

Robert Glennon writes in the Wash Post:
"The idea of charging for water offends many people who think that would be like charging for air. Is it immoral to extract fees for an essential resource? Precisely because water is a public -- and exhaustible -- resource, the government has an obligation to manage it wisely.

Think of our water supply as a giant milkshake, and think of each demand for water as a straw in the glass. Most states permit a limitless number of straws -- and that has to change."

One proposed solution sounds like something out of fiction, possible the Simpson's:

"Some dreamers gaze upon distant sources of water and imagine that the problem is solved. Plans to divert water from rivers in British Columbia or tow icebergs from Alaska periodically arise."

Towing icebergs, really?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a good case to be made that we are using water faster than the water cycle can replace it. I haven't read Glennon's book "Unquenchable" but he can be found here:

If the governments can't convince their citizens that conservation and other measures are necessary, you can be sure business will swoop in and buy up water rights and yield huge profits as supply dwindles. And then we will deserve to pay huge rates for water.


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