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Water, Water, Neverwhere…

25 April 2006

There’s a new book by Fred Pearce about the impending water crisis: When the Rivers Run Dry. The interview at Salon.com [note: you’ll have to watch an ad if you aren’t subscribed, but then you have a day pass to read whatever you like — and you can get a day pass over and over] notes some facts, like:

  • Brushing your teeth with the water running wastes 4.5 gallons of water.
  • It takes 40 gallons of water to grow the ingredients for two slices of bread.
  • You need 250 gallons of water for a glass of milk, and 650 gallons of water for a pound of cheddar cheese.
  • It will take 800 gallons of water to produce the meat for one hamburger.

    Yeesh! Wasteful use of resources is the number 1 reason why the Consort and I made the choice to become vegetarians, lo these many years ago. (You can get more info at the EPA Web site [and yes, I’ve already alerted them that there is a typo on the page].)

    The majestic rivers of the United States are running dry so that farming conglomerates can make another fast buck, and regular Americans can “live the American Dream” in a fabricated suburb in the desert. And let’s not forget all those gamblers in Las Vegas; they need lots of flushing power in those palace-themed mega-hotels!

    Internationally, water-use rights fuel conflict in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Asia.

    I’ve requested the book from my local library, and I’ll let you all know what I think after I’ve read it.

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