Reporters around the world are posting stories about water shortages so severe that farmers are unable to bring crops to harvest or sustain livestock and urban residents are devoting half their incomes and countless hours to water procurement. As a direct result millions previously well-fed and adequately watered are now malnourished and resigned to intermittent supplies of lower quality water.
While writers of the stories at the links below calmly note that Mexico, India, and the Horn of Africa, all of which are now in water crisis, contain some of the largest and most rapidly growing human populations on the planet, they all decline to mention the obvious—that slowing or reversing population increase is means to address what they call water “shortages” but might as well term people “longages.”
In the article about India, we see how attempts to ignore population growth and deal with its consequences, in this case specifically the “Green Revolution” and waterworks ranging from wells and pumps to dams and canals, have only ratcheted up the intensity of present and future challenges and reduced the range of strategies available to meet them.
The future ecologists have anticipated with apprehension for decades, some might claim centuries, is now. To reshape it to something more palatable billions of us will radically alter our ideas about what we want, how to get it, and how we know these things.