If you ask any United Nations official “What is our scarcest global resource?” he or she will reply without hesitation, “Water.” But surprisingly, there’s little global coordination to address the problem, even as it has rapidly accelerated. Water is charting the same course as did Global Warming. In the latter case, the facts, and some remarkable leadership by Al Gore, forced the issue out into the open in the United States. Water is still waiting for such a champion.
Waiting … while the situation gets worse. If you need proof, look at Australia. A month or so ago, Peter Beattie, premier of Queensland State, announced that the southeast area would begin reintroducing recycled sewage into its drinking water supply. This area, in particular, is one of Australia’s fastest growing and most dry. It is in the grips of a terrible drought – one of the worst droughts Australia has seen in a century. Some areas are charting 10 consecutive years of below-average precipitation.
Prime Minister John Howard had nothing but praise for Premier Beattie. Not only does he believe Queensland is on the right track, but says Sidney will soon follow suit.
In the last decade of the 20th century, there were 2,200 natural disasters worldwide. 89% were water related; 50% were from floods; 28% from water borne epidemics; and 11% from droughts. Water events appear to be tied to changing weather; changing weather to global warming, global warming to carbonization of the atmosphere; and carbonization to human-generated pollution.
Water is not simply an environmental issue, it is a life and death health issue.