Water and War

You know where water comes from. EVERYONE knows where water comes from. You turn a faucet and out it comes, delightfully crystal clear. As much as you want.

Unfortunately, 1.5 billion people in the world can’t do that – at least with anything that is clean and delightfully crystal clear.

However, drinking water isn’t the point.

It takes a thousand tons of water to produce one ton of wheat. Think about that the next time you go to the supermarket. That one pound bag of flour represents a thousand pounds of water.

That’s why water poor countries must import their wheat – and their vegetables and their meat and anything else that consumes that much water.

Agriculture is amazingly water intensive. Thank God that this planet has lots of it. The problem is when countries don’t understand the implications of this.

Ah, I see that you are ahead of me on this one. Water poor countries need to get out of the agriculture business – and into businesses that consume less water. And THAT means that they need to IMPORT their food.

Of course, countries in the business of growing food will need something in return. They will want something that they can use. And if it isn’t food…

Well, what’s left is human services and manufactured goods.

The problem is that manufacturing and human services require infrastructure and education. You need engineers and teachers. You need parents who encourage their kids to higher levels of education. You need roads and bridges. You need power plants and school buildings.

You need sophisticated societies.

The problem is that in MY part of the world, it is generally the LEAST sophisticated societies that have the least amount of water. What happens when an unsophisticated society runs out of water?

They try to take it from someone else, and that means war.

You do the math.

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