Environmentalists have long warned about the crisis in nonrenewable resources, such as oil. Water, of course, is the ultimate renewable resource—it falls from the sky—and therefore has been of less concern.
But where and when rain falls, and what happens to it after it hits the ground, are crucial in determining the health and prosperity of human societies, says Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and special adviser on environmental policy to an impressive number of foreign leaders including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, various governments, even rock stars (Bono is a friend). In his new book, “Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet,” Sachs describes the worldwide water shortage as “one of our most daunting challenges.”
A six-year drought in Australia has virtually wiped out that country’s rice crop, contributing to food riots in countries from Haiti to Indonesia this month. “Much of the world is already in water crisis,” Sachs says. “And that crisis will only continue to grow.”
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Source : Newsweek