Water is one of the most important resources on Earth but scientists today are finding it is scarce. This is causing us to rethink how we consume water.
Water is what we need to survive. Most of the water we are consuming is not actually water. This problem is being caused by a problem called “leaking” water.
Leaking water is an irreversible loss of water (known as “excess volume”) when it is being consumed or produced. We can see this happening in our oceans every day as a result of all the land and ocean we are consuming and generating.
This means water has a life cycle. When it is being consumed it can only be produced again when the production is more and more efficient. This is called diminishing returns and it is caused by the natural law of diminishing returns.
Leaking water also can become trapped in rocks or in the atmosphere causing water to be lost. Some places on Earth such as Iceland and Greenland have high levels of leakage water and some places such as Alaska have high levels of melting in glacier melt.
Our natural water cycle is disrupted by our high consumption of water.
As this leakage is occurring the planet becomes hotter and drier. It is not a new concept but as the temperatures rise the Earth’s energy imbalance between water and energy grows more and more extreme. This energy imbalance will lead to more rainfall, more floods, more fires and more droughts.
And as our population continues to grow and demand more energy we are going to need new and more expensive ways of producing and consuming water.
It is easy to think of a problem such as water leakage as only an environmental problem and it is. This makes it seem the easiest of problems to solve.
But as we look for solutions which will provide us with better solutions for problems such as water leakage which are creating major problems around the world there are only three simple options:
The energy revolution.
New water extraction systems like desalination, reverse osmosis, energy from solar and wind.
Or even more radical solutions like a carbon-neutral economy (see “How our planet can get its energy back” for more detailed information).
With the energy revolution it is possible to see this as the solution to a whole host of ecological problems. But it requires a new energy system in which we do not build power plants by burning fossil fuels.
By doing this energy we will only produce less water when it is used. This will
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