water chart A special report from the BBC suggests the next wars may be fought not over oil, land, minerals and ideology, but over clean, safe water. Here’s the lead-in:

Two-fifths of the world’s people already face serious shortages, and water-borne diseases fill half its hospital beds. People in rich countries use 10 times more water than those in poor ones. The present is dire: the future looks so grim it must be entirely unmanageable. Cut it how you will, the picture that emerges from today’s data and tomorrow’s forecasts is so complex and appalling it can leave you feeling powerless. The world cannot increase its supply of fresh water: all it can do is change the way it uses it. Its population is going to go on increasing for some time before there is any prospect it will stabilise. And water-borne diseases already kill one child every eight seconds, as day follows day.

Read the rest of this story, and a whole series of related stories from the Beeb and others, here. And if you think this is only an issue on the other side of the globe, there’s a major battle over water brewing between Mexico and – guess who, Texas.

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  1. Dave Pollard says:

    Gary, you’re always so damn wordy in your comments ;-)Worldgame is interesting, and I’ve always loved simulations (I developed one for KM that was a big hit with the CICA), but I’m disappointed that their definition of winning is ‘wealth & growth’.

  2. Doug Alder says:

    Canada is in big trouble – we have 1/3 of the world’s fresh water resources and you know who wants them.

  3. PI says:

    “Canada is in big trouble – we have 1/3 of the world’s fresh water resources and you know who wants them. “Reminds me of Jon Stewart’s old pre-Daily Show standup bit:Knock knock. “Uh, hey, Canada? Yeah. This is America. Ummm… we’re out of wood. Hm, how should we say this…? Oh! GET OUT.

  4. Dave Pollard says:

    Hey Doug: I’m afraid you’re right. But maybe by then they’ll have put a wall up around the border to prevent illegal marijuana getting in, so they won’t be able to get at it.

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