What happens when the largest countries run short of water?
August 24, 2009
India, currently the world's second-largest country
and on track to become the most-populous within 40 years
, appears to be entering a period of water shortages caused mainly by over-irrigation
of agricultural land, potentially leading to serious food crop shortages
. The fact that irrigation is blamed for the water shortages -- not natural events or changes in climate -- points to the fact that water is likely to become a considerably more valuable resource in the future than it is today. Contrary to the common misperception that water is naturally abundant and thus should be free to all, it takes considerable effort and expense to consistently deliver safe and reliable water supplies
for human use, whether in domestic, industrial, or agricultural applications.
last revised August 2009