Lack of water

Posted April 4th, 2007 by konrad

EN: The lack of water is already a major problem in certain areas of the world and as the world’s population and living standards increase, the situation will aggravate. An interview in the ZEIT (german) with the CEO and president of the advisory board of NestlĂ© Peter Brabeck-Letmathe gives more insight into that topic. Brabeck-Letmathe explains that water should be considered as a fossil resource and why it does not make sense in many parts of the world to produce biofuels. The reason for this is that the crops necessary to produce biofuels require the water (and other resources) that would otherwise be used to grow food crops. It is mentioned that agriculture consumes 93% of all fresh water used and that one vegetable calorie needs around 50 liters in production while one animal calorie needs 500 liters. Brabeck-Letmathe proposes less wasteful technologies, genetic engineering and higher water prices to improve the situation.

I assume a reduced consumption of animal products and the industrial usage of organisms that naturally uses less water would also help. Algae like Spirulina might be candidates as they require less water than common crops. If you have a better/newer/contradicting source please let me know. More proposals?

3 Responses to “Lack of water”

  1. Konrad Förstner

    I had short look at the desalination article in Wikipedia. Unfortunately the energy requirements are not the only problem of it but also the hight concentrated waste products.

  2. Greg

    This subject has been coming up recently and is very important. It’s funny that most of the Earth’s surface is water, yet we have a shortage. What about sea water desalination? With increasing renewable energy sources such as wave, tidal, solar, geotherm, solar, etc why couldn’t we power the desal plants and pumps with renewable energy sources? I do agree with needing to be more efficient with current water handling and increasing easy-to-do rain water harvesting, etc.
    What do you think?

  3. Greg

    Konrad,

    I remembered this post and have come across something of relevance;

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/07/machine_cranks.php

    Max Water is a machine that uses wind-power to extract water from the air.

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