Thursday, June 17, 2010

Water - Global water shortages

Australia is running out of water. The fourth largest lake on the planet shrunk by 90%. Four continents are already running dry. Forget about our dependence on fossil fuels. The crisis that could doom us all is the world's shrinking water supply. And nowhere is the growing water crisis more acute than in China.

China, where 20% of the world's population has only 7% of its water. Wheat produced on the North China Plain is depleting water tables so rapidly that the water table is dropping three feet a year. Beijing is in dire trouble, and could run out of water in as little as five years, leading to economic collapse of the city—and massive civil unrest.

China is racing to complete a monstrous $62 billion South-North water diversion project.That still may not be enough, so they're eyeing Tibet's enormous water resources, the source of water for 47% of the world's population in ten countries.

China's water is among the world's most polluted, which is why they've invested $31 billion into water treatment technologies. Hundreds of water treatment companies are knocking on China's door. Some known names include Dow Chemical, Bayer Technology, ITT, Siemens and a host of others.

China's water treatment upgrades have barely started, and there's billions of dollars in work yet to be awarded.

Clean water, essential minerals, even the topsoil we need to grow food are getting dangerously scarce. Simply put, we're running out of the resources we need to survive. But a handful of innovative companies stand ready to solve these problems. The UK warns: A "perfect storm" of crises in food, water and energy could topple governments and markets globally.

Over the next 20 years, world population will grow 27%. Yet arable land will shrink 18%, per capita water supply will drop by a third and global oil production will fail to meet soaring demand. More people to feed, and less land, water and energy to produce food. We saw a small glimpse of the future in the 2007 food crisis. Food prices exploded, commodity prices went off the charts. Riots broke out in 30 countries. Federal troops were called in to guard fields and warehouses. And at least one government was toppled by the food crisis. But that crisis was nothing compared to what you'll see in the next few years.

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