I don’t know how many of you are fans of Spooks, the BBC1 drama based on the British intelligence services (blimey writing that on a blog might be enough to get me…..well, best not think about that…)? On Monday the episode featured a scientist who was working on desalination technology, essentially turning sea water into drinking water. The value of her work was such that she became an asset over which the Chinese and American governments were arguing (with the plucky Brits caught in the middle!!).
Far fetched? Maybe. Maybe not.
The theory was based on the increased risk of drought through global warming with usable water becoming a commodity….and therefore the ability to convert abundant sea water to portable water would become akin to energy production. When you start to look at the global predictions, it doesn’t seem so far fetched……
We’re all aware of the power struggles for oil, but water? Remember Darfur? That was about the Janjaweed right? Well yes…..and no. The root causes of the conflict can be traced back to the need for water. The Council for Foreign Relations reported,
“The conflict that led to the crisis arose from the tensions between nomadic farmers’ groups who were competing for water and grazing land—both increasingly scarce due to the expanding Sahara Desert.”
Ok but that was a one off and these things happen don’t they? Since the late nineties reports have been calling for action on water, a report sponsored by the UN Development Programme suggested that water might be one of the main reasons for conflict on the African continent for the next few decades.
And that could just be the start….
As some of you will know, today is Blog Action Day. An event held every October 15 where the world’s blogggers unite by posting different posts about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action.
We know that right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted. And we know that unless we take action, things are only going to get worse.
So take a moment today when you turn on the tap, run a bath or fill the kettle. Take a moment to think what is and what could be. However, far fetched it might at first seem. Take a moment and then take action by signing the global petition here. And show them what a lovely bunch of people we are here.
Water is a right, not a privilege.
Have a good weekend.