When we search the universe for life we search for water, because it is only from liquid water that all forms of life exist. In every corner of the world, be it in America, Asia, South and Central America or Africa, we are polluting, diverting, pumping and wasting the limited water supplies in every aquifer available as if it were an infinite resource.
The ancient Egyptians depended on the Nile and still are, the ancient Romans used the ingenuity of engineering to bring water to the cities via aqueducts. However, for how long will this water system and others elsewhere being developed sustain us for the next couple of generations for example?
Water management is very important! The demands of global economic trade together with population increase is accounting for an ever increasing use of water.
The rampant over development of agriculture, housing and industry constantly calls for the increase in supply of water resulting in the gradual desertification of the earth. We are becoming a desert in many places of the world. But this water we use cannot be completely replaced at the rate at which we use or misuse it.
The source of life which is water, instead of being a common, universal, accessible and priceless gift of nature to everybody on planet earth has become an “economic good”. Profit is being made out of water supply or its distribution. Under the guise of corporate giants, developing countries are pursued to privatize their water supply for profit. Profit is made out of the running and the delivery of water to people, communities and countries. Corrupt governments use water for economic and political gains. Those who have the ability to pay for water will have it and those who can’t would go without it. Increasingly, there is a military style control of water which is gradually emerging as well as a new geo-political map being drawn indicating power structures that are to control these water bodies. This is setting the stage for what I dub as the “water wars” because it has become an economic good. Cash crops such as wheat, corn (maize), apples, flowers (roses), cotton, bananas are grown in water scarce places and moved to long distance places where there is abundance and regular flow of water. Could some of these crops be grown locally then in these water abundant areas? What I am writing about is not about saving the environment, it is about saving ourselves because no matter our religion, sex, race, economic or political standing, who so ever of us goes without water for a week, cries blood because our bodies would have no fluids.
Wherever a river is flowing freely and it is cared for and jealously guarded as if it were oil (black gold), then we have a generation of water wars and there is going to be a lot of fighting about and for this “commodity”.