More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Fight Over Water

I love my science fiction shows and movies, and a common theme in those shows is how planets fight over resources, water in particular. I remember hearing a while ago someone saying that in the future, wars won't be over oil anymore, but instead water. I believe that is a very sound conclusion with the ways things are currently going.

Currently, Melbourne is about to enter Stage 2 water restrictions. This means that you cannot water your garden during the daytime, you cannot wash you car with a hose, hose down your pavements and other smaller changes. Water in the dams are at very low levels, hovering about 45 - 50%.

Water is such a precious resource that people in rich countries just take for granted. You flush a toilet and you may have possibly wasted the same amount of water someone in Africa might have access to for a day. A long shower uses over a 100 litres of water I think. Don't quote me on the numbers, but its definitely a lot. If the trend in rising global temperature keeps going, we will need more and more water in the future, which will end in fights.

Even now, people are already fighting over water. The Governments plans to take water from the country area for metropolitan users has already angered drought stricken farmers. There is also talk of using recycled effluent water to cool down coal power stations. The coal station owners are not happy about this since the small impurities in the recycled water can cause a lot of damage to their equipment.

The first step to making this valuable resource last longer is to educate people. Even if you save a bit of water by taking a shorter shower, it all adds up if everyone does it. Otherwise, this resource is not unlimited and it will get to a stage when even immediate change will be too late.

Unless we find very efficient ways to recycle water in the future, countries will start trading in water just like other commodities. Maybe I've watched too many science fiction shows and have been affected by all the stories about water, but I think there will be many fights over water in the future. People tend to think that water is everywhere. The Earth is covered in water, but that is all sea water that is rarely used by humans. We need pure water without the salts (not just table salt but chemical salts I mean) that we can drink and use. Only a very small percentage of all the water on Earth is pure water that we can store and use. I'll be very interested to see how it all pans out in the future. Hopefully by then I'll be living on Mars in a artificially generated environment with lots of synthetic water hahahaha.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how tf am i going to wash my car now??!!

10/19/2006 5:08 PM  
Blogger Estnivek said...

well, if you can design a system to remove the salt from the salt water, you'll be rich.

10/22/2006 9:46 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, you will need lots of buckets and patience.

Estnivek, I wish I could invent something like that. There are ways to remove the salts but probably not economically viable at this stage. Maybe one day when water is so scarce that it needs to be done will people put more effort into trying to use salt water.

10/22/2006 10:04 PM  

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