Blog 6 – Drought

      No Comments on Blog 6 – Drought

In a world that is ever increasingly subjected to the consequences of climate change, weather patterns have not just become a bigger part of public and private discourse, it is having real effects on our lives. One of the many manifestations of climate change is severe drought. This is evident across the globe from Southern California to the Middle East. Though the droughts are certainly natural occurrences, human behavior is also a contributing factor. In California for example, in the process of creating an oasis in the desert, water-thirsty lawns were planted to landscape the yards, pools were installed in every back yard to escape the heat of the eternal sunshine, and a booming agricultural industry was created. In fact, agriculture is the primary usage of water in the state. Across the world, the people of Syria, Egypt and the West Bank suffer from water shortages that do not only contribute to thirst related problems, but also causes famine, cleanliness and sanitation problems as well.

The global issues that drought causes are many, but where there is a problem, you can always count on man’s innovation to meet (or at least attempt to) the problem head on. Take Israel for example. A small nation, surrounded by many nations who are experiencing severe drought. Yet, over the past several years, Israel has bounced back, and has reached a place of surplus. They accomplished this through investments in infrastructure and desalinization plants to treat ocean and waste water, transforming it into water that is safe for drinking and irrigation. They have even begun to sell and distribute water to boarding nations. As good as all of this may seem, there are drawbacks as well. A water-rich nation surrounded by those suffering from drought can lead to conflict, and power-relations between those who have and those who do not. In fact, it is predicted that many future wars will be fought over access to clean water. If water continues to be privatized, it will become a commodity and indulgence by the wealthy, and used to control those who are unable to afford this life-giving resource.

Leave a Reply