This sense of a “water crisis” is really about the political realisation in many parts of the world that we cannot continue to live as if water availability were not a restraint on our activities. It is a bit like coming to terms with the fact that Santa Claus does not exist. For years, politicians and engineers have worked to create the illusion that abundant water is part of nature’s bounty, wherever in the world it is required. It was easier to maintain the pretence of plentiful water in the past. In the US, for example, large dams and water transfer projects could be financed through federal government borrowing, paid off through taxation over the decades, and hardly noticed by the general populace. In the Middle East, governments turned to thermal desalination plants, but generally avoided passing on the cost to the customer. In India, the illusion of cheap and plentiful water was created by the provision of free electricity to pump groundwater.
5 Mar 2010
Free water and Father Christmas
Loved this post. Here's an excerpt: