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Lack Of Fresh Water Could Hit Half The World’S Population By 2050

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/lack-of-fresh-water-could-hit-half-the-worlds-population-by-2050-8631613.html

Severe water shortages will affect more than half the world’s future population of nine billion people by 2050 if governments fail to collaborate on international efforts to protect and conserve life’s most vital ingredient, experts have warned. One of the first indications of a future water crisis will be mass migrations of people away from areas without water.

Political tensions are likely to follow the movements of environmental refugees, Professor Janos Bogardi, of Bonn University, a senior adviser to the water system project, said. Five hundred of the world’s leading water scientists said that the current mismanagement and misuse of increasingly scarce water resources threatens to plunge most of the global population into extreme water poverty.

They said that human activity has accelerated major disturbances to supplies of fresh water, such as erosion, pollution and the draining of rivers and underground aquifers. An extra two billion people in the world by 2050 will exacerbate the global crisis, they said.

War for water to become a real threat? Or for those with restricted water supplies will there be attacks to pollute water sources?

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the inter-country effects of water in any case are limited. almost all fresh water is in the ground and it is sourced locally.

a lack of supply of oil will affect the world but a lack of water in africa or bangladesh isnt going to affect the supply of water in the US or UK.

therefore its less of a commodity that can be won between countries because its not really moved around or traded. youre more likely to see unrest in domestic politics.

Edited by mfp123

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War for water to become a real threat? Or for those with restricted water supplies will there be attacks to pollute water sources?

It's been going on for years. Look at the middle east.

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"by 2050"

The issue will never be water but energy. This planet is mostly water, but desalination requires energy. And I'm quite sure that by 2050 we will have much better energy technology than now.

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A standalone solution has already been invented.

Note that the parts of the world where the water problem is most acute are, by and large, also the hottest, and this device can be made to run on solar.

Now all we need is for it to get nice and cheap by 2050 compared to the $1200 it was said to cost in 2008.

Looked at the website and first line of how it works states "The system draws in moist, outside air through an air filter."

So humidity is going to have a massive effect on its usefulness, how do the hottest areas compare ?

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Looked at the website and first line of how it works states "The system draws in moist, outside air through an air filter."

So humidity is going to have a massive effect on its usefulness, how do the hottest areas compare ?

Dunno if the website says so, but the 2008 Grauniad article pointed out that even in Arizona, say, the thing could find enough water in the morning to lsst the day even though the afternoon would be too dry for it to run.

By the way, it occurred to me that if this goes mass produced, bang goes the main argument against fracking, viz. Pollution of aquifers. Relevant to the current thread on UK gas shortages....

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Growth in India and China has always been set to stall due to lack of water, especially as they are mostly reliant on glacial melt waters.

Give a few more bad drought years in other parts of the world and we might see the UK back as the leader of the pack exporting our H20.

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Interesting, was just reading a 1939 book all about soil erosion that touched on this, deforestation and industrial agriculture all connected in to water issues.

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Interesting, was just reading a 1939 book all about soil erosion that touched on this, deforestation and industrial agriculture all connected in to water issues.

1939 had seen devastating effects of deforestation, and catastrophic failure to make UK-style intensive agriculture work in less benign climates.

Except, it wasn't at all the resource-heavy intensive agriculture we've developed since 1945 that's seeing us through peak population while it lasts.

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A standalone solution has already been invented.

Note that the parts of the world where the water problem is most acute are, by and large, also the hottest, and this device can be made to run on solar.

Now all we need is for it to get nice and cheap by 2050 compared to the $1200 it was said to cost in 2008.

It already is nice and cheap, all they are describing is something that my delonghi 280watt dehumidifier can do and that's 1/6th the price. Ok so it's grey water but there are hand filters for this.

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1939 had seen devastating effects of deforestation, and catastrophic failure to make UK-style intensive agriculture work in less benign climates.

Except, it wasn't at all the resource-heavy intensive agriculture we've developed since 1945 that's seeing us through peak population while it lasts.

Sure but the connections I thought were interesting were the idea of increased runoff meaning the water floods down instead of seeping into the aquifers - so flood then drought rather than more constant river flow.

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Dunno if the website says so, but the 2008 Grauniad article pointed out that even in Arizona, say, the thing could find enough water in the morning to lsst the day even though the afternoon would be too dry for it to run.

By the way, it occurred to me that if this goes mass produced, bang goes the main argument against fracking, viz. Pollution of aquifers. Relevant to the current thread on UK gas shortages....

A random snippet I heard on the radio the other day: 60% of all domestic water in the US goes on watering gardens. In France it's 6%. They didn't give the UK figure.

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A random snippet I heard on the radio the other day: 60% of all domestic water in the US goes on watering gardens. In France it's 6%. They didn't give the UK figure.

I could well believe it. In some areas, including in drought prone areas such as California, it is actually a legal requirement to water your garden regularly. Allowing, your grass to go brown, can be a breach of local bylaws, and be punishable be a fine.

It's quite common to see estate agents selling empty houses go around every couple of weeks with a sprayer full of green paint, and paint the grass - so as to avoid the fines.

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Given the immense oceans, surely the limiting factor will be energy required to run de-salination plants?

That and the brine waste output of the plants. That stuff is toxic in both marine and land ecosystems.

San Diego is an example I looked at recently. Providing all its water via de-salination would have energy costs in th erange of 6-7% of San Diego's GDP. Doesn't sound much, but bear in mind that the total cost of energy in the san diego economy has always been between 4 and 9% of GDP, except possibly in the 70s when it went over that.

So you can figure 10% of GDP as a rough limit on energy costs, and more than that and you end up with contraction.

So there isn't really a very large energy budget for de-sal.

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That and the brine waste output of the plants. That stuff is toxic in both marine and land ecosystems.

San Diego is an example I looked at recently. Providing all its water via de-salination would have energy costs in th erange of 6-7% of San Diego's GDP. Doesn't sound much, but bear in mind that the total cost of energy in the san diego economy has always been between 4 and 9% of GDP, except possibly in the 70s when it went over that.

So you can figure 10% of GDP as a rough limit on energy costs, and more than that and you end up with contraction.

So there isn't really a very large energy budget for de-sal.

Speaking of saline solution and GDP, ferrous corrosion accounts for, or 'eats' 4-6% of the worlds GDP annually.

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I could well believe it. In some areas, including in drought prone areas such as California, it is actually a legal requirement to water your garden regularly. Allowing, your grass to go brown, can be a breach of local bylaws, and be punishable be a fine.

It's quite common to see estate agents selling empty houses go around every couple of weeks with a sprayer full of green paint, and paint the grass - so as to avoid the fines.

Other places are *slightly* more sensible - Colorado Springs has banned residents from watering lawns due to drought. Well, not quite. They're now limited. They may only water their lawns.... twice per week.

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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