Home Pharos Fiction Site Map Updates Search


                                                                                                                        Back Next

Halexandria Foundation
Sacred Mathematics
Connective Physics
Chronicles of Earth
Justice, Order, and Law
Extraterrestrial Life
Creating Reality
Tree of Life

Water Wars

You think Oil Wars are bad news?  Wait until you get thirsty!

It's one thing to not have enough energy to run the air conditioning or the new Hummer, but when the number one essential for life runs in short supply, you've only got a couple of days before energy concerns are pretty much irrelevant.

The curious part is that we live on a water planet.  Unfortunately, salt water is not exactly one of the more delectable items on our gourmet menu.  What is needed is fresh water.  For drinking, bathing, food washing, and just to maintain health, we need H2O in forms which do not include salt and other health-threatening ingredients.  In fact, water can be said to be the premier health drink.

Isn't it fascinating that the lands with the most oil on this planet are also the lands with the least water?  It's as if the old adage that "oil and water don't mix" has some sort of political connotation.  There are a few locations, of course, with both water and oil, but even in those countries thought of as tropical, the access to fresh water is not good.  If we then base our search on the idea of total oil reserves, the deserts of the Middle East, Afghanistan, and North Africa are awash in oil.

[Perhaps, "awash" is not quite the best term, in that washing with oil does not accomplish for human beings what one might idealize.]

This leads us to a problem.  Most of the current oil reserves in the world are under the sands normally inhabited by Muslims -- many of whom, inexplicably, do not like the Corporate Rule that the United States, Britain, France, and others are attempting to foist upon them.  These countries are being offered democracy and freedom -- with matching ankle and wrist bracelets (complete with chains) -- and the non-infidels are more than a bit wary... They are positively hostile!

Water, on the other hand, is in really serious short supply -- except for the fact that with lots and lots of oil, one can apply large amounts of energy to sea water (a process known as desalinization) and obtain lesser amounts of water and larger amounts of very, very salty water.  Fresh water still continues to flow down the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, but the Sumerian version of irrigation some four to six thousand years ago left a great deal of salt in the soil.  This has poisoned much of the potentially arable land in the formally "Fertile Crescent".

[This process is also continuing in Southern California where extensive irrigation of the Colorado River in very sunny regions has resulted in land sufficiently salty that a salt desert is making its way north into less southern California year after year.]

The problem with irrigation in sunny climates is that natural desalinization occurs when water flows through the fields and the sun evaporates a great deal of it.  Evaporation in turn leaves a lot of salt in the ground, and eventually the ground is too salty to support agriculture.  Because of the similar problem in enormous amounts of very salty water, desalinization to obtain large amounts of fresh water is questionable at best.  In addition, the amount of oil burned -- with its attendant detriment to the environment -- only aggravates the problem.

There is always the possibility of towing icebergs from Antarctica -- but that will also require enormous amounts of energy.  There are also the technical problems of moving the bergs, and reducing the amount of melting along the way.

Ultimately, then water will become the ever greater world issue. 

It is already worth fighting for -- and has been for centuries.  Anyone living just north of Yellowstone National Park is soon made aware that people far downstream on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers have first claim on the water flowing out of Yellowstone on its namesake river -- and that attempts to divert some of this upstream water is likely to result in serious repercussions (including death by drowning, bullets, and/or rope).  [Personally, I'm allergic to bullets.]

Similarly, the Jordan River separating Israel/Palestine and the State of Jordan is under constant scrutiny as to who gets what.  The Colorado River flowing into the Gulf of California is controlled by treaty between the United States and Mexico.  (The fact that Mexico is receiving basically muddy sludge is a point of contention.)  Meanwhile, life-giving rivers in diverse places -- from the Nile in Egypt to the Yellow River in China -- are being held back for purposes of creating lakes and hydroelectric projects.  This is effectively losing the water in order to obtain more and more energy.

The difficulty in the latter -- so beautifully illustrated by Lake Powell in Southern Utah -- is that when flowing river water laden with dissolved particulates becomes still sitting behind a dam, the particulates fall out of the water.  The resulting silt collects behind the dam and slowly fills the man-made reservoir from the bottom up.  It's the basic salt-silt problem all over again.  [This is also part of the reason for the famous movie line from Gone with the Wind:  "Frankly my dear, I don't want a dam."]

There is from almost any imaginable viewpoint the simple fact that there is really not enough water to adequately provide for the health and quality of life on the water planet.  Additional sources of water can be tapped -- icebergs, diversions of northern rivers, and the like -- but the inevitable problem is an oversupply of people.  But inasmuch as most people do not fancy themselves being denied the basic essential of life, the next inevitable result is wars over water.

The only good news from this scenario is that human beings tend to thrive on conflict and war wars.  It's as if we always need to find material for Hollywood scripts.

Meanwhile, the free flowing, wild river near you probably has a dam under construction.  Sorry About that.


Bush Wars         Oil Wars         Buy One, Get One Free         Oil in the Family

The Mother of All Battles         9-11-2001         Justice, Order, and Law

Or forward to:

      War Wars        Nature of Law         Conflict         Sovereignty


                                                                                      The Library of ialexandriah       

2003 Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved                     [Feedback]    

                                                                                                            Back Next