Download When the Rivers Run Dry: Journeys Into the Heart of the by Fred Pearce PDF

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By Fred Pearce

Not anything turns out extra ample than water. in reality, the area is confronting a world water scarcity that can make the oil quandary trivial through comparability. to place the matter in point of view, it takes a superb 11,000 litres of water to feed the cow it takes to make one McDonald`s zone pounder. As Fred Pearce warns, "The planet is working out of water." the various world`s strongest rivers were so devastated by means of intake and irrigation drain-off that they not achieve the ocean. Two-thirds of all of the world`s provide of water is used to irrigate vegetation. It takes sufficient water to fill 100 bathtubs to irrigate the cotton fields required to make one t-shirt. while the Rivers Run Dry is a trip into the area water trouble. across the world acclaimed environmental author and water authority Pearce traverses the globe during this eye-opening portrait of what's quick turning into the planet`s so much severe power disaster. From Canada and Texas to India and Palestine, Pearce examines in attention-grabbing and compelling element how galloping, un-regulated intake, monetary greed and political indifference are placing the world`s water structures at grave probability. As vital, the consequences of a scarcity will have--in truth, have already got had--profound and critical effects at the fragile overseas political scenario. although the symptoms are dire, Pearce passionately contends that they aspect to the ideas that would avoid the predicament and positioned the realm at the course of sustained and renewable intake. It`s a problem we can't have the funds for to disregard.

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Additional info for When the Rivers Run Dry: Journeys Into the Heart of the World's Water Crisis

Sample text

Whenever you buy a T-shirt made of Pakistani cotton, eat Thai rice, or drink coffee from Central America, you are influencing the hydrology of those regions—taking a share of the Indus River, the Mekong River, or the Costa Rican rains. You may be helping rivers run dry. ” In this terminology, every ton of wheat arriving at a dockside carries with it in virtual form the thousand tons of water needed to grow it. The global virtual-water trade is estimated to be around 800 million acre-feet a year, or twenty Nile Rivers.

Old European colonies and protectorates such as Egypt, Sudan, and Pakistan still empty the Nile and the Indus for cotton-growing, as they did when Britain ruled and Lancashire cotton mills had to be supplied. When Russia transformed the deserts of Central Asia into a vast cotton plantation, it sowed the seeds of the destruction of the Aral Sea. Most of the missing water for the shriveling sea has in effect been exported over the past half-century in the form of virtual water that continues to clothe the Soviet Union.

This brutal carve-up may have underlined the river’s geographical importance, but it hardly accorded it respect. Today the river is virtually invisible from the memorial behind a high chain-link fence designed to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants. Only up on the ugly, heavily guarded border bridge can you see it—a fetid trickle in an absurdly wide concrete canal flanked by a six-lane highway and a container dump. There is so little flow that as I watched, the wind ripping upstream was blowing the water back toward its source in distant Colorado.

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