The two largest users of freshwater globally are: first - industrial agriculture (for irrigation), and second - the telecommunications industry, according to Antonia Juhasz of the International Forum on Globalization. |
Much of the large-scale irrigation taking place results from agri-business decisions to grow water-thirsty crops, such as cotton, in warm - but dry - climates such as California. This has always seemed such a mis-use of water supplies as to be criminal, IMO.
That the telecommunications industry should be such a heavy consumer of fresh water comes as a shock to many, (I was very surprised also), but the industry needs huge quantities of pure water for manufacturing chips.
Juhasz places the amount of water consumed for human drinking water as "a distant third" on the consumption scale.
Linda Cree, Michigan's U.P.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: E-M:/ RE: / fresh water in the 21st Century
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 20:19:10 -0400
that water will be increasingly scarce and costly should be a source of worry . . .
equally a source of worry should be attempts to attribute decreasing access and increasing cost to population growth and climate change, rather than luxurious consumption (e.g., bottled water) and inefficient usage (e.g., overhead irrigation in agriculture) . . .
craig k harris
department of sociology
michigan agricultural experiment station
national food safety and toxicology center
institute for food and agricultural standards
michigan state university
This should worry Michiganians and all Great Lakes Basin residents...
Water, Dow Chemical Chairman Andrew Liveris told the World Economic Forum in February, “is the oil of this century.” Developed nations have taken cheap, abundant fresh water largely for granted. Now global population growth, pollution, and climate change are shaping a new view of water as “blue gold.”
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