Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gulp! Is Water the Next Oil?

From Global Real Estate Monitor
By Jennifer Duell

Can you imagine a day when water is more precious and more expensive than oil? A day when wars are waged over water? In many countries, these scenarios are already reality. And experts worry that the day is quickly approaching when the U.S. will face the same water shortages as other parts of the world.

Although developed nations have long taken for granted the availability of cheap fresh water, it's now in jeopardy. By 2025, more than half the countries across the globe will either experience shortages with their freshwater resources or those resources will be stressed – meaning that more people demand more water than is available for use. Over the same period, 46 countries with a combined population of 2.7 billion people will see "a high risk of violent conflict" over water, according to London-based International Alert.

As populations soar and cities expand, water supply cannot keep pace with demand. Moreover, water quality is deteriorating in many areas of the world due to pollution and poor water treatment and management systems. About 95 percent of the world's cities still dump raw sewage into their waters. More >>