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"Where will the 'water wars' of the future be fought?" Topic


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345 hits since 15 May 2019
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse15 May 2019 10:15 p.m. PST

"A new paper paints a disturbing picture of a nearby future where people are fighting over access to water. These post-apocalyptic-sounding "water wars" could rise as a result of climate change and population growth and could become real soon enough if we don't take steps to prevent them.

The study, which comes from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), says that the effects of climate change will be combined with an ever-increasing number of people to trigger intense competition for increasingly scarce resources. This can lead to regional instability and social unrest…."
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SBminisguy16 May 2019 10:14 a.m. PST

"A new paper paints a disturbing picture of a nearby future where people are fighting over access to water. These post-apocalyptic-sounding "water wars" could rise as a result of climate change and population growth and could become real soon enough if we don't take steps to prevent them.

OK. Someone with a sciencey background help me out here.

IF AGW theory is correct, than the average global temp will increase slightly.

WHEN temperature increases, the precipitation cycle accelerates. This will lead on average to a warmer, wetter planet with more rain in more places.

SOME parts of the world may see weather patterns shift, resulting in a new "normal" of drought or rains not experienced before.

RESULT is that while some places may see disruptions in rain cycles, on the whole there will be more rain/snow and more water available. We will have adjust accordingly.

So what's the problem??

Rich Bliss16 May 2019 11:18 a.m. PST

There will be more rain, but not in all areas. The biggest issue will be population growth outstripping fresh water sources.

KPinder16 May 2019 11:31 a.m. PST

The planetary agriculture system has evolved to try to make the most of what assets can be found in any given place. It's a very delicate business. Any kind of disruption can upset the apple cart in any one locality. Flood, frost, hail, drought, bugs all menace the likelihood that any area will produce up to expectations.

Climate change threatens to upset all the apple carts. If for no other reason that it makes generations of learning how to "game" the growing season suddenly worthless.

Adjusting may be possible in the long term. It may be that, in 50 years, The Outback becomes a garden, but given the time it takes to reorganize food distribution, how does that help a half billion Indians, when a drought renders the north Indian plain desolate?

jdpintex16 May 2019 12:31 p.m. PST

Access to potable water is a concern whether "global warming" occurs or not. Many aquifers have been seriously depleted/contaminated as well as many surface water sources. So larger populations chasing a scarce but vital resource isn't going to end well for some.

One must have water to drink. One can adjust to the weather/climate.

Lion in the Stars16 May 2019 2:30 p.m. PST

Ugly thought for people: In the time of Rome, specifically the Roman Warm Period ( link ), the Sahara was rolling grassland, the grainbasket of the Republic (and later Empire). Then the climate changed (got colder, in fact), and weather patterns shifted. Desert.

During the Medieval Warm Period ( link ), it's unclear if the weather patterns shifted back to rainfall. Not a lot of records from the Sahara then, at least none that survived the Crusades.

The current climate change is getting back to those temperatures, so it is possible that we may get back to rainfall in the Sahara. Wouldn't that be an entertaining kick to the doom-predictors! evil grin

Also, during the 1930s, the American Midwest got dry enough to go to desert-like conditions, as opposed to the grasslands we know today. It was called the Dustbowl.

SBminisguy16 May 2019 2:47 p.m. PST

Access to potable water is a concern whether "global warming" occurs or not. Many aquifers have been seriously depleted/contaminated as well as many surface water sources.

Good point.

khanscom16 May 2019 7:24 p.m. PST

My Econ professors in the early '70s were pointing to this as a serious future problem (cue spooky music).

Stryderg17 May 2019 6:44 a.m. PST

I just read somewhere (yeah, that's a pretty well-documented source right there) that global population increase is slowing down. ie. that guy claimed we'll probably max out around 12 billion people planet wide. So "ever increasing population" claims may be invalid…maybe.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa17 May 2019 10:31 a.m. PST

Access to potable water is a concern whether "global warming" occurs or not. Many aquifers have been seriously depleted/contaminated as well as many surface water sources.

Yeah, that pretty much hits the mark, and what I've read suggests the issue of water shortages in the Middle East particularly is likely to kick in before climate change does … A lot of countries in the region are spending on desalination technology. And nuclear is the obvious power source when you consider that uranium is readily available from seawater.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2019 10:33 p.m. PST

California seems to be ground zero for this, since some are opposing raising the Shasta dam by about 18', despite the obvious need for more water for a larger population in the state.

This has been going on for at least 40+ years, and the state is fighting the Feds to stop it.

No doubt, some will suggest letting CA citizens drink wine (though many can't afford it in the costly state), instead of good quality, fresh drinking water.

As far as I can recall, not a single new dam for the retention of fresh water has been built in the state during the last four decades, or more, which is shocking, and more than a little irresponsible.

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