Running out of water – the simple mathematics


Recently N.A.S.A. reported that the planet is running out of fresh water. One of the elements so fundamental to human survival that I believe any law privatizing it needs to be repealed, which we use daily, is in danger of running out. Now that something glaringly obvious to environmental planners is out, what is the world going to do about it?

Anyone who did geography will know that the planet and its natural resources are finite. Anyone who has done resource management planning will know that fresh water is a grossly under estimated resource. It is possible to roughly estimate the volume on the planet, possible to determine its quality whether it is from aquifers or free flowing in rivers.

And the mathematics is simple. A ground water allocation zone has x m3 available in it. When allocation reaches 100% it is fully in use and any more must come from outside the zone. A river carries x m3 per second of which only a portion goes into ground water. The rest discharges out to sea. As this in itself performs important natural functions the idea that rivers should have minimum flows below which restrictions kick in is sound.

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