Where’s the Water?
by Colle and Phyllis Davis
The world is rapidly running out of what is commonly termed ‘potable water,’ meaning you can drink it and not get sick. The fresh or sweet water as many people call it is rapidly being depleted and the world is only now waking up to this very scary fact.
There are areas of the earth where farming or water extraction should never take place, but population pressures are forcing people to use those areas and this is contributing to greater and greater problems with desertification and water shortages.
NEWFLASH March 13, 2012 – Today’s news report: Farming Communities Facing Crisis Over Nitrate Pollution, Study Says. Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley of California might be drinking nitrate-contaminated water, researchers found. And if nothing is done to stem the problem, the report warns, nearly 80 percent of residents could be at risk of health and financial problems by 2050. High nitrate levels in drinking water have been linked to thyroid cancer, skin rashes, hair loss, birth defects and ‘blue baby syndrome,’ potentially fatal blood disorder in infants.”
Water tables are being lowered, aquifers are being depleted at ten to ten thousand times their recharge rates and yet, there are a growing group of terribly naive people who think that technology is going to save the day. Machines that suck water out of the air, desalinating salt water and people ‘conserving’ are all touted as the answers. Only the last has any change of being sustainable.
In several counties, especially lesser developed countries, you can get your car washed at large parking lots by the locals who have figured out how to wash a full size car or medium SUV with less than three gallons of water. How do they do that? They have learned to very carefully allocate the water only as needed on small areas of the car at any given time. They are so good that with their three gallons of water and 15 minutes that they do as good a job as a professional car wash manages to give a car owner. Here’s the odd part: It’s the carrying of the water that they are concerned about, not conservation of the water. Conservation is a secondary affect.
New homes are being designed to use shower and sink water as the flush water for the toilets; the same water is used twice. Systems have been designed and are now in use to take regular sewage or livestock waste water and pass it through a three step process to clean it up enough to use for washing pens or for watering plants. With a fourth step in the filtration process, it can become potable again. The technology already exists to clean up the water that we use personally.
Here’s the rub, no matter how much each person is focused on conservation, agriculture takes 70% of the available water to grow the food we eat. Most crops require huge amounts of water to grow, mature, process and transport. The shift to ethanol fuel made from corn (which takes six kilocalories of fossil fuel along with several gallons of water to produce one kilocalorie of energy) to burn in a car is complete insanity. It takes six times as much energy (including diesel fuel) to produce the equivalent amount of energy in ethanol. Some people are beginning to question the entire practice of ethanol production. The component in this process that is not being discussed by anyone is the large amount of unrecoverable water that is required in the production of ethanol.
Individuals can carefully conserve water at home, work and live in their community, but it will have virtually no impact on the coming water crisis. The problem is how can we raise food using less water? Nearly all agriculture is a pass-through-system, meaning the water is used once and then discarded. The smart alternative is to begin utilizing aquaponic systems which re-circulates the water (with very little water loss due to evaporation) in order to raise more of the food we eat. Less water usage means less chance of starvation and social chaos. Aquaponics requires 90% to 95% LESS water than traditional forms of agriculture which involve all forms of irrigation.
What will you do when the cost of food in the stores doubles? Will you pay US$5 a pound for tomatoes? Or, US$5 a head for lettuce? Or, US$5 for a cucumber?
According to CNN Money, Food Price Hikes Could Push Millions To Poverty by Ben Rooney, â€œThe surge in global food prices has already driven 44 million people below the “extreme poverty line,” which the World Bank defines as living on just $1.25 a day. An additional 10% increase in food prices would cause another 10 million people to fall below the poverty line, while a 30% spike would lead to 34 million more poor, according to the World Bank.
The cost of food is going to double in the next four years in the US. The cost of food has more than doubled in several countries since 2004, caused major global food riots in 2008, and was partially the reason for the increase in food costs driving the Arab Spring uprisings and continues to be a contributing Â factor to much of the unrest in other parts of the world.
According to GeoPolitical Monitor’s article, Food Price Spiral: Causes and Consequences by Paul P.S. Teng, “In 2007-2008, rising prices put basic food items beyond the reach of the poor and middle class, precipitating civil disobedience in at least 43 countries. According to the FAO, urban households were among the hardest hit, especially the lower income groups which spend a higher proportion of their earnings on food than the richer class.”
Lack of affordable food will be the first impact felt in the disintegration of social order in your area and in the world. Being prepared by having your own secure food supply will keep your genes in the gene pool as survivors.
HARD NEWS: Be prepared, or you will starve. You will continue to have lights, water and Internet service, but you will be paying several times as much for food as you do today, no matter where you live in the world. Food will be available, BUT it will become increasingly expensive and those with money will get first dibs on it. The smartest thing you can do for you and your family is to have a local supply of food that requires very little water, is organic, is constantly available and is not subject to transportation, power or social problems.
Buy a Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems today or better yet become an investor and buy a PFAS Technology License and make your whole area more safe and sane with many installations, oh, yes, they also put local people to work in permanent full time jobs.