Sunday, January 01, 2006

Resource Wars: Water Shortages in North America

Dennis Bueckert reports for Yahoo!Canada that water shortages for the U.S. and Canada are an increasingly serious problem.

U.S. water shortages are becoming critical. Flow in the Colorado River, which feeds the Las Vegas Valley, dropped by almost half between 2000 and 2005 due to successive droughts. Yet Canada has major water problems of its own.

The International Joint Commission has repeatedly warned about declining water quality in the Great Lakes due to toxic contamination, and water levels in the lakes have dropped to record lows.

"Although the Great Lakes contain about 20 per cent of the fresh water on the Earth's surface, only one per cent of this water is renewed each year," the commission noted in a recent report.

Ontario, Quebec and eight states signed a deal earlier this month that will prevent thirsty jurisdictions in the southern U.S. from getting access to water from the Great Lakes.

But critics have said the deal still allows for water to be withdrawn at unacceptable levels..."The consequences of these hydrological changes for water availability . . . are likely to be severe," said a study published last month in the British science journal, Nature.....

Maude Barlow, chairwoman of the Council of Canadians, argues that a global shortage of water will be the most threatening ecological, economic and political crisis in the 21st century. (emphasis added) |Yahoo!Canada|

1 comment:

Brian P said...

Taking that with rising sea levels due to global warming means we'll all be reciting Coleridge: "Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink."