Next Resource in Crisis: Water

H2O is no longer 'cheap and unlimited,' says scientist
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2008 4:30 PM CDT
An Iraqi woman fills a bucket of water from the river Euphrates near the Shiite holy city of Najaf.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – While economists and world leaders fret about the global food crisis, there is another emergency that is just as urgent: the shortage of water, writes British scientist Fred Pearce in Yale Environment 360. No longer is water "a cheap and unlimited resource," and with two-thirds of water extracted from nature used to irrigate crops, a scarcity could trigger terrible famines.

With major waterways including the Colorado River and China's Yellow River being overused to the point of drying out, Pearce urges people to do three things: rethink biofuels, develop trade in food exported from countries with a water surplus (like Brazil), and to be more efficient with water use.