Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
Images Of A Thirsty World

Via Quartz, some striking images of our thirsty world:

Predictions of catastrophic water shortages may seem like apocalyptic visions of the future, but water crises are indeed a fact of modern life already. Natural factors like drought have left some reservoirs depleted, while siphoning of historical water sources have transformed freshwater bodies into dusty shadows of their former selves.

Aral Sea

What used to be one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world is now mostly desert. After Soviet-era decisions to divert water for agricultural projects from this lake that touches what is now Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea has continued to shrink over the decades, down to about 10% of its original footprint.

Cape Town, South Africa

Prolonged drought brought Cape Town, South Africa to the brink of “Day Zero,” when the city would run out of usable water. Extreme water saving measures were enacted and in February of last year, Day Zero was moved to 2019 and some restrictions were relaxed.

People queue to collect water from a spring in the Newlands suburb of Cape Town on Jan. 25, 2018.
People fill up containers with spring water in Cape Town on Jan. 25, 2018.
The Theewaterskloof Dam, which supplies most of Cape Town’s potable water, is seen from above near Villiersdorp, South Africa on Feb. 20.
Water levels are seen at about 24% full at Voelvlei Dam, one of the regions largest water catchment dams, near Cape Town on Nov. 8, 2017.
Residents fill up a containers with water from a polluted river.

Australian droughts

Australia is already a particularly dry continent, but recent droughts have been some of the worst in memory.

A lone tree stands near a water trough in a drought-effected paddock on the outskirts of town of Walgett, in New South Wales on July 20, 2018.
A truck stirs up dust on a road in the town of Walgett, Australia.


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