In most parts of the developed world we take water for granted. We think of great lakes and the sea as areas of natural beauty and rightly so. What we never think about is the unthinkable, what happens if the water runs out.
Arjen Hoekstra came up with the idea of the water footprint, which indicates the total volume of freshwater used in the manufacture of food, products and energy. Once you start to analyse a nation or continent’s water footprint you realise how much water we use. It seems in Europe alone, 40% of its water footprint is in fact outside of Europe. In other words, Europe is using other nation’s water to feed and clothe its citizens and to keep the lights on.
You only have to look at the plight of the Aral Sea to see where the Water Footprint Network is coming from.
The old soviet Union diverted water away from feeding the Aral Sea and this has been the long term result.
You can read the full story here.
As you can see, the water levels have dropped markedly since 1977 and this has had a detrimental effect on not only wildlife but people too.
The thought of the water running out may not seem to far fetched now. What is truly frightening is that we may be too late to do anything about it.
Tom Kane (c) 2016