Only contrary to the new environmental mantra there really is an “away” to water. Once its befouled (I love that word), then un-befouling it is difficult. Take for instaces what is happening to the bulk of the fresh water in the world, the Artic and the Antartic ice sheets. If we are going to melt them off we would be better off trying to transport that water to some storage location like a dried up lake bed(s), than let it melt into the sea. Because then it is really hard to get it to be fresh water again. Same with pollution, once you dump contaminates into water then it is very hard to clean up. We have been doing that in a big way for 300 years.
January 22, 2009
Ecologists warn the planet
is running short of water
A swelling global population, changing diets and mankind’s expanding “water footprint” could be bringing an end to the era of cheap water.
The warnings, in an annual report by the Pacific Institute in California, come as ecologists have begun adopting the term “peak ecological water” — the point where, like the concept of “peak oil”, the world has to confront a natural limit on something once considered virtually infinite.
The world is in danger of running out of “sustainably managed water”, according to Peter Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute and a leading authority on global freshwater resources.
Humans — via agriculture, industry and other demands – use about half of the world’s renewable and accessible fresh water. But even at those levels, billions of people live without the most basic water services, Dr Gleick said……..
A glass of orange juice, for example, needs 850 litres of fresh water to produce, according to the Pacific Institute and the Water Footprint Network, while the manufacture of a kilogram of microchips — requiring constant cleaning to remove chemicals — needs about 16,000 litres. A hamburger comes in at 2,400 litres of fresh water, depending on the origin and type of meat used:}