Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Water Wars

There's an extreme water crisis in Mexico City right now. They could run out of water within weeks. 

From Peter Dynes of MEER

"'Day Zero' is counting down to June 26th. The whole country is in drought conditions, and huge parts are in extreme drought. A society can't run without water, and that could become a reality very soon in some regions. This is due to the drying up of the reserves of the Cutzamala system."

Some commenters mentioned how Coke, Pepsi, and Nestlé have moved into areas with weaker political defences in order to suck their aquifers dry to sell their own water back to them. (That includes Aberfoyle, Ontario).  Other point out that they will have no choice but to migrate further north. Maude Barlow predicted that the next wars will be over water, and Canada will be the next Iraq a good 16 years ago in the documentary FLOW: For the Love of Water

"The rich will drink; the poor will die. 

Adam McKay added,

"Most populated city in North America, and there's very little coverage. I never imagined the disconnect between news and reality could get this wide. And I made Don't Look Up." 

I watched Furiosa yesterday. Not nearly as good as Fury Road. But both are a bit frightening in their depiction of a future that's feeling more and more possible. We're not coping by massing together in order to help one another like one would hope when times get bleak. We're at a point where hospital staff will refuse to do the bare minimum to prevent harm to babies by wearing a mask, and people are going gangbusters to burn up every bit of fuel flying around to see stolen stuff behind glass in museums on the other side of the world when we could just look at it all online (or maybe give it back), and to develop AI, which is something we didn't think we needed just yesterday, which is using up a ton of fresh water! It's all pretty fucked up. 

And then there's this:


Trailblazer said...

Maude Barlow, Gwynne Dyer have long prophesied the current situation.
Here in BC we have an organisation, Water Watch that fights for the public control of water.
Water is a human right.

Marie Snyder said...

We have a Water Watchers group in Guelph as well. We've had tons of lead time on this, and I've joined marches and collective action over the years, but now I'm at a loss what to do to help this situation now that it's so dire.

MoS said...

The hydrologic cycle of the Holocene has succumbed to a hotter atmosphere that now carries 14% more water vapor than it did across the history of human civilization. That hotter, wetter atmosphere is the engine driving severe storm events of ever increasing frequency, intensity and duration.

Yes, Mexico City is experiencing a critical water shortage evident in surface subsidence that now threatens many of its tallest buildings but it's a story playing out in cities around the world.

Water shortages threaten global stability. When China occupied Tibet it gained control of much of the Himalayan watershed on which China, India and Pakistan are deeply dependent. Those waters are still shared but for how long will it last?

China has the ability to divert much of the water that now flows into India while India has the ability to turn off the taps into Pakistan. These heatwaves hammering the Indian sub-continent multiply the instability. Let's remember that China, India and Pakistan also have substantial nuclear arsenals.

Meanwhile Egypt is staring down its upriver neighbours who want to dam the Nile to generate electricity. Egypt maintains it has a right to the free flow of that river that dates back to the pharaohs. Cairo has warned these upstarts that it has the right to bomb any dams that may impede its access.

The UN estimates that a minimum of 20 litres of clean, freshwater is required daily for a person's hydration, cooking and sanitation needs. Many areas now struggle to fine enough for hydration alone.

Agriculture is also imperilled. Meeting urban demand, in Delhi for example, is resulting in farmers' wells being drained. Water needed for crop irrigation is being stolen.

We're going to have to accept deaths on an unprecedented scale. When I was born the world population was an all-time record of 2.5 billion. In my lifetime that has increased to more than 8 billion. An analyst at a NGO that monitors these things told me that our planet, in its current degraded state, has a sustainable human carrying capacity of about 2 billion. Imagine the world as our grandchildren will know it.

Marie Snyder said...

I'm not convinced our grandchildren will know this world.