Water distress has many different aspects but the
consequences converge – more geopolitical and economic
stress, more biological burden.
Major rivers like the Indus, Colorado, Ganges,
Rio Grande, and Yellow River of China are so
over-tapped by agriculture, industry and ballooning
cities that they never reach the oceans for part of the year.
Aquifers are over-exploited. Too much pumping of
underground aquifers forces water tables to fall and
irrigation wells to dry up in many key places in the world.
Much of the “green revolution” practices that are the
base of the industrial agriculture today rely on irrigation:
using fossil fuels to pump water from rivers or aquifers.
No water means less yields and lots of hungry,
Misconstrued dam projects distorted the sustainable
The drinking water sanitation processes in their vast majority cannot filter the chemical contaminants out.
The growing use of agricultural chemicals, along with
the serious consequences of barely managed industrial
and sewage releases, has rendered large quantities
of fresh water impure in many parts of the world,
Deforestation further reduces water retention capacity of the lands, leading to flash floods and land slides and – as in the case of the Amazon - disrupts the hydrological cycle, reducing rain for important agricultural hubs to the south.