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Tag archives for water scarcity

Short on Water? Don’t Blame it on the Rain

The common refrain in media stories about water shortages is that they are caused by droughts.  Don’t believe them. Droughts don’t cause water shortages.  People do. The water shortages appearing with increasing frequency and intensity around the globe are, regretfully, poignant signs of our society’s woeful inability to govern itself within limits, or to plan…

We’re Heading Into the Rapids All Wrong

My experience running a rapid on the Payette River in Idaho offers a metaphor and lesson for our time. Lately, as I ponder our societal response, or lack of it, to the challenging times ahead – the droughts and floods and heat waves and crop failures, which we’ve tasted only as appetizers so far –…

Water Privatization: Let’s Cut the Hysteria

  In an editorial published this week in Nature, Frederick Kaufman, a journalism professor at the City University of New York, cries out against the perils of a global water futures market. He cautions that “Financial forecasters perceive that much like traditionally traded commodities — precious metals, for example — the useable water of the…

Are We Running Out of Water?

  Early in 2001, the Rio Grande River failed to reach the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. With that nefarious event the Rio Grande joined a growing list of once-mighty rivers that are running dry from overuse:  the Colorado River in the U.S., the Yaqui in Mexico, the Indus in Pakistan, the Ganges in…