Fresh Water At Risk

Aqueduct mapping tool screen shot at World Resources Institute

In the U.S. we tend to think that oil is the most precious and contested substance on earth because we hear about it in the media every day:  oil exploration, spills, oil prices and wars.  But if you think competition for oil is bad, water is worse.  Oil is a luxury, water is a basic necessity and clean fresh water is getting harder to find.

Last month the World Resources Institute (WRI) published Aqueduct, an interactive tool that measures and maps water risk.  From the maps I learned that water woes come in many flavors.

Some are naturally caused:   (This is not an exhaustive list!)

Others have man-made origins:

"Water is very complicated," says WRI.

Try their Aqueduct interactive tool to see where water is at risk.  You may be surprised at what you find in Wisconsin, Michigan and Cape Cod.


(screenshot of the Aqueduct mapping tool at World Resources Institute. Click on the image to use the tool)

2 thoughts on “Fresh Water At Risk

  1. Anyone see the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace (2008)?

    “James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country’s most valuable resource. All the while, he still tries to seek revenge over the death of his love.”

    Well, it turns out that the “most valuable resource” in question was not oil, as was suspected, but water! The ‘bad guy’ was trying to tie up all the water in Bolivia!

  2. The Aral Sea video brought to mind the situation with the Owens Valley in California. Water was diverted from that shallow lake for L. A.’s drinking water, and other uses, and it now has been turned to a dust bowl that pollutes the air in that area. Ranches and farms in the area either continue to struggle, or have been lost, and there is no plan to do anything to restore the area. Very sad.

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