An article published on eurekalert.org informed that, "A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world today issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, 'in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the 9 billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable.'".
Among the different statistics mentioned, humanity uses land the size of South America for agriculture, and land the size of Africa for livestock. Another astonishing average was the fact that a large dam has been built every day for the last 130 years. The article goes on and continues with ways to help the future with a predicament that we can see coming two generations away:
"1) Make a renewed commitment to adopt a multi-scale and
interdisciplinary approach to water science in order to understand the
complex and interlinked nature of the global water system and how it may
change now and in future.
2) Execute state-of-the-art synthesis studies of knowledge about
fresh water that can inform risk assessments and be used to develop
strategies to better promote the protection of water systems.
3) Train the next generation of water scientists and practitioners
in global change research and management, making use of cross-scale
analysis and integrated system design.
4) Expand monitoring, through traditional land-based environmental
observation networks and state-of-the-art earth-observation satellite
systems, to provide detailed observations of water system state.
5) Consider ecosystem-based alternatives to costly structural
solutions for climate proofing, such that the design of the built
environment in future includes both traditional and green
6) Stimulate innovation in water institutions, with a balance of technical- and governance-based solutions and taking heed of value systems and equity. A failure to adopt a more inclusive approach will make it impossible to design effective green growth strategies or policies."
This can't be ignored, and with these water scientists trying to help avoid disaster it seems all but inevitable that these suggestions will be followed. Hopefully it's not too little too late, and reform can be made that will be effective throughout the lifetime of our civilization.
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