Water resources are under pressure and it will get worse. Globalisation is putting pressure on overexploited natural resources such as water and energy. It’s getting worse because of human population growth. The planet is finite in size and in resources. It’s only economists and mad people who believe that there should be perpetual economic growth which cannot be extracted from a finite resource.
Dog and cat food manufacturing in the US is among one of the sectors on the planet which is most at risk if water resources dry up in other parts of the world so concludes a study by Oliver Taherzadeh, a PhD candidate at Cambridge University’s geography department.
It’s obvious that with more people there are more pets and with more pets there is more pet food and with more pet food more water is used. I’m sure that very few of us realise that, according to National Geographic, about 200 gallons of water is required to make a dollar’s worth of pet food. It’s a shocking statistic when you think about it. One single US dollar of pet food requires 200 gallons of water! When you consider how much pet food is thrown away because it has not been eaten by cats or dogs and gone off you realise how much precious water is wasted.
Water is a limited resource. It is a precious resource. In fact, it is one of the world’s most precious resources but it is taken for granted. The future of water management is the future of our planet, it is said. Almost every aspect of life on the planet is dependent on H20. Humankind has to do something about it both for the sake of humans and for our companion animals.
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how unprepared mankind is for a global crisis. Arguably humankind is sleepwalking into a water shortage crisis on a global scale. China will dominate the world soon and their growth is dependent upon its manufacturing industries. It needs a lot of water. Some of it comes from the Himalayas which is why places like Kashmir are politically sensitive. I argue that one reason why China has annexed Tibet is for their massive water resources. Ironically, China is suffering from a water pollution problem due to industrial waste.
It is said that global demand for water has increased by nearly 8 fold over the period 1900-2010. This has been driven by population growth with concomitant economic development. There is widespread water scarcity in many parts of the world, particularly in China. Water availability is one fourth of the world average in China and is the most significant threat to the country’s development.
Note: It is Sir David Attenborough who made the remark that it is only mad men and economists who believe that economic growth can carry on indefinitely. Although I have always thought it and it is obvious.