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Should countries buy and sell water?

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Every Drop for Sale: Our Desperate Battle Over Water in a World About to Run Out by Jeffrey Rothfeder (2001) The impending world water crisis is not a subject I like to think too much about, but as a social worker, I feel compelled to call attention to it. Plus this book makes the subject understandable, and asks a tremendously important question: should countries buy and sell water, or should water’s original positions in the world (Canada has the most, and the Middle East very little) be respected?

There is a Canadian movement partially influenced by the Inuit Indians (the Eskimos) which maintains that water should not be sold and moved around the planet in huge bags — that this goes against the natural ecology of the earth, and will mess things up even worse. Draining certain areas for water use and development has certainly proven disastrous for Florida, which now must invest 8 million dollars to restore the Everglades to some semblance of their original swamp glory.

Rothfeder documents meticulously the many freshwater rivers in the world that are being managed to depletion. He describes areas that are ripe for conflict over the issue, including Malaysia, Singapore, and many of the nations of the Middle East. He also delves into some of the water conflicts going on in the United States. Who knew that Atlanta’s burgeoning population was sucking the Chattahoochee dry before it got to Florida?

This stuff doesn’t make it big in the mainstream media, even though water is so essential. By the way, this makes me wonder about fuel cells producing water as their waste product. Could we someday be collecting the runoff from our cars, harnessing this source of water for other purposes? Seems a little unlikely, but you never know.

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About Kiersten Marek

  • Actually there is a UN meeting this week about the coming water crisis. Which is why more people are looking outside the USA on the net for news because the US news net is becoming tiny and unreliable. And why the recent Bush shennigans are crippling the real work of the UN.


  • Adrian George

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  • no! your lieing