Monday, October 05, 2009

Is food the weak link on the global economy? And how can we protect the water supplies needed to grow food?

Sobering, but important piece by Lester Brown.  Water is the next oil, and without water, there is no food.

Brown's points are a good reason I've been thinking a lot lately about the need to develop innovative land management schemes that protect the water provisioning services provided by healthy forests and other ecosystems.

Water Shortages in Africa
This on my mind, I ended up watching a documentary the other night about how the Mara River of Africa -- famed for its Wildebeast Migrations and Crocodiles -- is drying up due to deforestation and water diversion for wheat farming.  It was eye opening to watch, and see just how closely the fate of the region's people and wildlife alike depends on protection of the area's headwaters forests.

Water Shortages in the U.S.
Bringing the issue home to America, this piece by the N.Y Times outlines how the water supply problems that the Southeastern U.S. experienced during the 2005-2007 drought were tied to population growth, not climate change.  On one hand, that's good news.  But on the other hand, it raises the specter of just how bad it could get when climate change does begin to impact the southeast's water supplies...

Over in California, lots of work is being done on restoring water systems -- to protect and restore both river systems themselves and the fish that depend on them (and the fishers who depend on the fish to make a living...).  This week's Living on Earth covered the restoration of the San Joaquin River.

No comments:

Post a Comment