In the last few years, the concept of peak oil has gained some traction. But peak water? Hardly at all. That most precious of all resources is in big trouble. We are running out of clean, drinkable water. Aquifers are being depleted at a rate that greatly exceeds their replenishment. Global warming is causing evaporation of surface water. Glaciers are melting. Droughts are spreading. Scientists now talk about the planet having hot stains. They have identified large areas of the earth as being water stressed. In the United States, the rapidly growing desert Southwest epitomizes the problem. But it’s not just Phoenix and Las Vegas, water issues exist from Los Angeles to Atlanta to Australia to India. The water crisis is like a comet poised to hit the earth. Urgent action is required, yet the words conservation and planning are barely heard.
Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest public advocacy organization, and the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, working internationally for the right to water. She is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Prize and the Citation for Lifetime Achievement, Canada’s highest environmental award. She served as the first Senior Advisor on water issues for the United Nations. She’s the author of Blue Gold and Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis.
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