Tell me about water.
May 8, 2012 10:19 AM Subscribe
Looking for facts about water, in part because I'd like to pass them on to a conservative friend.
posted by jsturgill to Science & Nature (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Educating myself in the process would also be nice. Because I want to pass them on, however, the best responses would be rock-solid in their facts while still powerful to somoene who doesn't share the same a-priori beliefs (like the idea that the environment is important in any way, or that balances should be struck between short and long term human needs, etc.).
Looking for things like:
Percentage of water used in agriculture (in the US and the world).
Is there a water shortage (US and world), and if so, what are the competing uses? (Industry, ag, residential) Is one section of consumption out of balance with the others? What are better ways to share the pie?
What are the negative effects of dams? In what situations do they outweight the positives?
What is the difference in water utilized by inefficient irrigation techniques (flooding a field) vs. modern, more efficient techniques (underground drip pipes)? Is it urgent to improve efficiency? Is it unreasonable to expect farmers to do so?
Is there an urgent water problem? Are current policies in areas like California sane? Are the demands and limitations placed on farmers reasonable? Should there be more or different demands? Should ag have a carte blanche to utilize fresh water however they see fit because they feed the world? Why not?
What disasters (dwindling underground reservoirs, contaminent buildups, etc.) have built up over the years due to human actions that are about to strike?
Charts and graphs and whatnot are great, but so would be long-form articles that are well written and researched that touch any of these things.