Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
Global Risk Of Water Shortages

Via Quartz, an interesting comment from John McLaughlin (retired CIA Deputy Director) on what really worries him – global water shortages:

Speaking of contamination, one thing we take for granted in the U.S. is clean, safe drinking water, but much of the world doesn’t have that luxury. The OECD projects that by 2030, close to half the world’s people will have trouble ensuring supplies of clean, safe water. Meanwhile, water tables are gradually falling in several parts of the world, including the grain-growing regions of China and India. The likelihood that shortages will develop — it takes 1,000 tons of water to produce one ton of grain in developing countries — gives significance to the fact that nearly one-third of the earth’s surface consists of river basins shared by more than one country. And land that is not now considered strategic could become so in an era of water shortage; the Tibetan plateau is one such area because the headwaters of seven major rivers are there, including the Yangtze, Mekong, Ganges and Irrawaddy. So something that today seems unlikely — water as a source of conflict — could become a reality over the next several decades.

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