Contest Between Water and Energy Becoming Big Story

Back from China, Circle of Blue’s senior editor notices a trend creeping from our headlines to those of other news organizations around the world.

fracking hydrofacture natural gas shale oil west virginia
Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue
Fracking requires millions of gallons of water per well. A new deep shale natural gas field opened this year in West Virginia.

Tom Friedman, columnist for The New York Times,earlier this week described the confrontation between China’s population growth and water resources, arguing that a nation developing as fast as that one is bound to hit big economic and ecological impediments.

“To say China needs its own dream in no way excuses Americans or Europeans from redefining theirs. We all need to be rethinking how we sustain rising middle classes with rising incomes in a warming world.” –Tom Friedman, The New York Times

For Circle of Blue readers, however, this is not a new thought.

In fact, in recent months we’re seeing lots of fresh evidence that the groundbreaking reporting that we’ve done on the global contest between water, food, and energy is having influence in the media and in non-profit circles:

For a tiny science and reporting group like Circle of Blue — which punches well above its weight — it’s gratifying to know that your work matters. This is tough work to do, and it’s good that people are taking notice.

china coal inner mongolia dry north declining water reserves
Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue
More than 70 percent of China’s coal comes from the dry northern region, where water reserves are declining. Trucks in Inner Mongolia haul coal to coastal cities.

Do you see water stories happening where you live? Email me at keith@circleofblue.org, send a tweet to @modeshift, or comment below.

–Keith Schneider
Circle of Blue senior editor

Author: Keith Schneider  is a Traverse City-based senior editor for Circle of Blue. He has reported on energy, water, and climate change from four continents.

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