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PMC Articles Tagged 'water'

Water-short world will need ‘more crop per drop’ – experts

March 26th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for forwarding me this article, which reports on global water security issues (World Water Day was Thursday, March 22). See: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/water-short-world-will-need-more-crop-per-drop-experts

Water-short world will need ‘more crop per drop’ – experts

21 Mar 2012 18:41

Source: alertnet //

By Megan Rowling

MARSEILLE, France (AlertNet) – Water must be used more efficiently and its waste reduced if the world is to meet rising food demand from a fast-expanding population amid the pressures of climate change, experts have said ahead of World Water Day.

Marked each year on March 22, the United Nations hopes the 2012 event will focus attention on water’s critical role in feeding the world.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the world will have to produce up to 70 percent more food to feed a global population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, from the current 7 billion. That will require better management of water, boosting farmers’ resilience to climate shifts, and cutting food and water waste.

Water consumption by agriculture is estimated to rise 19 percent by 2050, but the figure could be much higher if crop yields and production efficiency don’t improve dramatically, warns the latest U.N. World Water Development Report.

Water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of people on the planet, and two-thirds could be living under water-stressed conditions by 2025, according to the FAO.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/water-short-world-will-need-more-crop-per-drop-experts

Letter to the Editor: Water, Acequias, Population and Development

March 15th, 2012 by PMC | Add a Comment

Please see this Letter to the Editor, written by Kathleen Parker and published in the Green Fire Times. See: http://greenfiretimes.com/2012/03/letter-to-the-editor-water-acequias-population-and-development/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=letter-to-the-editor-water-acequias-population-and-development

Letter to the Editor: Water, Acequias, Population and Development

Kudos for focus (January 2012) on acequias, a topic I covered for years for a major New Mexico daily. Based on that and a lifetime centered around water-from watching a family well dry up, to fighting two Colorado water projects-I share former NM Acequia Commissioner Wilfred Guttierez’ apprehensions about the threat to acequias in the early 21st century.

As warned by the Scripps Institute, the Pacific Institute, the National Academy of Sciences, the University of Colorado, author William deBuys and others, the Southwest is in the crosshairs of mushrooming population, drought and global warming. DeBuys writes: “If you live in the Southwest or just about anywhere in the American West, you or your children and grandchildren could soon enough be facing the Age of Thirst, which may also prove to be the greatest water crisis in the history of civilization.” I fear he understates the situation a bit!

The United States is the world’s third most populated nation behind only China and India, and despite Census Bureau efforts to obfuscate the fact, it grows-70 percent from immigration-by a whopping 1.1 percent a year, or a doubling time of 65 years or less. The Southwest is the fastest-growing region of that high-growth nation, and often experiences growth rates-between 2 and 3 percent per annum-matched only in Africa! We are almost identical in geographic size and climate to China, which was at roughly our current population of 314 million just one hundred years ago. We can anticipate a China-like population of one billion, possible by next century if current trends hold!

The Southwest is mostly dependent on the waters of just one river, the Colorado and its tributaries. It is today more an elaborate plumbing system than a river system. When the river was allocated-legally divided between Upper and Lower basin states in 1922-16.4 million acre-feet of water was allocated before it was determined only about 14.2 million acre feet flow in the river. Further studies showed the average more likely to be 13.5 million acre feet even as, since 1922, the region’s population has exploded, with towns experiencing a thousand-fold increase in population to become mega-cities resting in the midst of five deserts with a population of 60 million, up from about two million or three million 100 years ago.

To read the rest of this Letter to the Editor, please click here: http://greenfiretimes.com/2012/03/letter-to-the-editor-water-acequias-population-and-development/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=letter-to-the-editor-water-acequias-population-and-development

Drought, population force city to find more water

February 28th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Please see this recent article, published in the Galveston County Daily News and reporting on the travails of League City, TX in their efforts to provide water resources to a growing population. If population growth continues, by 2035 the city will need about 50 million gallons a day. Right now they can pump 21.5 million gallons a day. See: http://galvestondailynews.com/story/295958

Drought, population force city to find more water

By Christopher Smith Gonzalez

The Daily News

Published February 26, 2012

Photo by Kevin M. Cox

LEAGUE CITY – Recent rains might be a balm to a state scorched by a historic drought, but League City still has a pressing water problem.

The city can pump only about 21.5 million gallons of water a day. The drought – coupled with the city’s growing population – has meant the city came close to its limit during the past summer.

The city does have plans to acquire more water, but the person who had been pushing those projects, former acting City Manager Rich Oller, resigned earlier this month.

But now Oller is back. He signed a contract last week that will pay him $175 an hour for consulting work.

To read the full story, please click here: http://galvestondailynews.com/story/295958

World Lacks Enough Food, Fuel as Population Soars

February 1st, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for alerting PMC to this January 30th article in Scientific American. Similar coverage was seen from Reuters and the Australian Broadcasting Company. All are reporting on the release of a report authored by the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability. The full report is here (.pdf). The article is found here:


World Lacks Enough Food, Fuel as Population Soars

The world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a U.N.

By Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters) – The world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a U.N. report warned on Monday.

As the world’s population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion by 2040 from 7 billion now, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially.

Even by 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water, according to U.N. estimates, at a time when a changing environment is creating new limits to supply.

And if the world fails to tackle these problems, it risks condemning up to 3 billion people into poverty, the report said.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=world-lacks-enough-food-fuel-as-pop

Peter Gleick: Population Dynamics Key to Sustainable Water Solutions

January 30th, 2012 by joe | 2 Comments

Congratulations to the New Security Beat, the blog of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, for prospering into their 5th year of existence. Their efforts help me to share this quick Saturday morning reading (and watching). Click here for Peter Gleick, world renowned water expert, commenting on the relationship between water and population:

Peter Gleick – Addressing Water and Population Dynamics

“Water is tied to everything we care about,” said MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and President of the Pacific Institute Peter Gleick in an interview with ECSP. However, “we cannot talk about water or any other resource issue…without also understanding the enormously important role of population dynamics and population growth.”
As world population passes seven billion, there is substantial pressure on natural resources. Gleick, who recently launched the seventh edition of The World’s Water at the Wilson Center, spoke previously to ECSP about “peak water,” noting that people are, and have been for some time, using groundwater faster than it can be naturally replenished.

“Unless we talk about population, and its role in all of these resource issues,” said Gleick, “then we are never going to move to sustainable solutions.”

In the short-term, we should start by integrating our discussions about natural resources, water, food, energy, and population. “That is proving to be a challenge for policymakers, but it’s a challenge we are going to have to overcome,” he concluded.

Is Fracking an Answer? To What?

December 27th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Many thanks to Lindsey Grant for this article.  To download your copy, see: https://docs.google.com/a/necsp.org/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B5F-idWfw7TeMDIwZjM0MTktMzRlZS00YTAwLTg0YzMtMjY0YjcwMjRhZjcz&hl=en_US&pli=1

Population growth taxing planet’s resources

December 5th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Population growth taxing planet’s resources

Date: Monday, October 24, 2011
Source: The Washington Post (U.S.)
Author: Juliet Eilperin

Humans have mined resources from the remote and rocky coast of Peru and Chile for more than a century and a half, gathering the guano deposits of seabirds for fertilizer and gunpowder. Those seabirds flourished on anchoveta in the coastal waters, while Peruvians in the highlands ate the same fish as dried snacks.

Now fishing vessels haul 7.5 million tons of the small silvery fish out of the water every year. Almost all the catch is reduced to fish oil and fish meal, which is fed to pigs, poultry and salmon being raised thousands of miles away to satisfy demand in the industrialized and rapidly-growing developing world.

The Peruvian seabird population that used to number in the tens of millions has dropped to 2 million.

“These fish are an important source of food, and the basis of the ecosystem,” said Peruvian conservation biologist Patricia Majluf. “It’s part of the global syndrome of misuse of resources.”

As the global population reaches the 7-billion mark, these sort of ecological distortions are becoming more pronounced and widespread. Sometimes local needs are depleting water, fish and forests; other times food and fuel needs in one region of the world are transforming ecosystems in another. Under either scenario, however, expanding human demands are placing pressure on resources, particularly on world water supply and fisheries.

Read the rest of this entry »

Water crisis, population surge prompt rethink on food: UN

September 26th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Interesting that reducing population growth does not enter the discussion:

Water crisis, population surge prompt rethink on food: UN

Date: Monday, August 22, 2011
Source: Agence France Presse

Population growth and water stress are driving Earth to a food and environmental crunch that only better farming techniques and smarter use of the ecosystem will avert, a UN report issued on Monday said.

The number of humans is expected to rise from seven billion in 2011 to at least nine billion by 2050, boosting demands for water that are already extreme in many countries and set to worsen through global warming.

“Currently, 1.6 billion people live in areas of physical water scarcity and this could easily grow to two billion soon if we stay on the present course,” according to the report.

“With the same (farming) practices, increased urbanisation and dietary patterns, the amount of water required for agriculture in terms of evapotranspiration would increase from 7,130 cubic kilometres (1,711 cubic miles) today to 70-90 percent more to feed nine billion people by 2050.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Running Dry

August 3rd, 2011 by joe | 5 Comments

How can anyone believe that population is not an issue after watching this 20-minute video?  See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3LH_2ur2LE

Running Dry

This documentary explores the growing global water crisis.  The solutions part of it seems somewhat pie in the sky.

Natural Gas Extraction Causes Methane Contamination of Drinking Water and May Cause Earthquakes

July 18th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Leon Kolankiewicz for an article (“Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing”) that provides systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale gas extraction.  To download the paper, link to https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B5F-idWfw7TeYmJlNWYyMjUtOWU1Ni00NzE3LTg5OTYtM2IwMmE3MjAwYmUz&hl=en_US