Drought in China


Nearly one million people lack drinking water in a southern Chinese province that is suffering its worst water shortage in more than 50 years due to insufficient rain.

The hidden cause of many water shortages, whether they be in China or Atlanta, is the increased population size. 50 years ago such droughts probably would have been a minor annoyance because there simply weren’t that many people in the areas.

If such shortages go too long, especially in urban areas, the potential for political unrest is obvious.

One Response to Drought in China

  1. DJ Thu, Dec 20, 2007 at 9:22 am #

    Fifty years ago, people also mostly drank tap water. These days, at least in this country (and in many third world countries as well because of sanitation issues) many people drink nothing but bottled products– water, soda, juice, etc. These all orginate as groundwater, but because they’re bottled and shipped, they (1) end up somewhere other than their source, thus helping to deplete local resources, (2) require far more water to be removed in order to inventory and warehouse the vast quantities people drink, and (3) though not directly relevant to drought, require transportation which, at 8 pounds per gallon, emits an enormous amount of greenhouse gases. You’ve commented before about bottling plants that continue to take water from the Atlanta area despite shortages– and ship it somewhere else.

    I calculated the CO2 impact of the bottled seltzer I drank and was appalled. Now I drink mostly locally-filtered water, which requires no trucking and returns to the watershed from which it came.