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Water; tune of the weekend

February 7th, 2010
tuneoftheweekend, politics, water  [html]
There are a lot of plentiful resources that we have been using up faster than they replenish. The fossil fuels are the most standard example, but this also applies to soil, wood, and fish. And water. We've sucked water from aquafers that would take a long time (decades, centuries? I don't really know this stuff) even if we stopped all our water use. I've been reading "When The Rivers Run Dry", a book by Fred Pearce where he looks at why so many rivers don't even reach the sea any more. I'm only just a little ways in, but it has me thinking: if by far the biggest use of fresh water is crops (cotton, rice, soy, rapeseed/canola, ...) what would it take to modify some of these corps to run on salt water? I need to think about this more, but it probably is more efficient to make your cotton ignore the salt than to use electricity to desalinate water to give cotton. If we could get even one of these major crops to run on salt water that would hugely increase the amount of water available for other crops.

The book also has me unhappy about the way water rights work and trying to think of ways to fix them, but if we can decrease the demand for fresh water that's a lot better.

Also, the tune of the weekend is the March of St Timothy. Which happens to start with the same melody as a beatles song: "have you seen the little piggies lying ..."

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