Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Water Wars - the next War for Mankind???

I have been thinking about this for a long time. Of course just 40 years ago, if you were to say you were going to sell water, everyone in Malaysia will think you are mad. Why would anyone want to buy a bottle of water when they can get clean water off the tap or just from a stream somewhere? That was how water was taken for granted before we became "civilized" and "developed".  In today's Malaysia, water is no longer safe to be drunk straight from the tap. (I suspect this is the same in most parts of the developed world).

Have you ever wondered why the water from the tap suddenly seemed to be dirty with the advent of water filters being sold by private companies? Or was it just a coincidence? The mineral water industry has grown and become big - all over the world.

We all know that life cannot exist without water. He who controls water, controls life. In this sense therefore water is a security and essential industry in any country.

Have you ever been concerned with the commercialization and privatization of this very vital component of life? Who controls it here or in the world? Did you know that billions of people in the world do not have access to water?

The issue with water is very complex, and has ironic issues. If human beings were to assimilate into their environment naturally, the it is possible that natural "clean" water may be more readily available. However, humans like to "develop", re-engineer the geography of the nature and hence, "artificial" water sources need to be developed. As I said, there are various complex issues concerning water today.

In 1995, Ismail Serageldin, the Vice-President of the World Bank predicted about the future of world wars saying: "If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water". Obviously, the war strategists and capitalists will sniff out this future much earlier than the citizens of the world living in their comfort zones (Never mind Malaysians!).

Water is a human right. Why is it that we do not hear clearly of International Treaties, laws and seminars on this issue? I am sure there are politics involved in this issue too - maybe someone wants to research this and enlighten us? The following is interesting (and frightening reading):

"We are on the verge of a water crisis.

By 2025, more than half of the nations in the world will face freshwater stress or shortages and, by 2050, as much as 75 percent of the world’s population could face freshwater scarcity. International Alert has identified 46 countries, home to 2.7 billion people, where climate change and water-related crises create a high risk of violent conflict. A further 56 countries, representing another 1.2 billion people, are at high risk of political instability. That’s more than half the world.

And we are becoming a much thirstier world. Growing populations spur demand for more industries and farmland, draining water resources more quickly than ever. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the problem as it alters rainfall patterns. And, unlike carbon reduction, there is no alternative, no substitute to promote".

I am getting nervous and that makes me thirsty...gonna grab and appreciate my mineral water.

Peace !

1 comment:

Rejal Arbee said...

Bro Jahabar,
I feel guilty to make this confession. Even though Rapera is bookmarked in my Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Netscape I come into your site only occasionally and especially now that I am tied up with the UKM News Portal five days a week.

Then I saw this posting on the state of our water resources.
You are right about it being god given and by right there should not be any shortage and especially here in Malaysia where there is over abundance of it in our rivers.
But what has happened to our rivers; mostly gone to pollution and easily more than 30 been rendered not fit for human consumption with some even already dead because of the industries' greed and uncaring attiude as well as the people who seem to think that their rivers are their garbage bins.

I have written quite extensively on this in my weekly column in Berita Harian and especially questioning the need to bring water from Pahang to ensure the Klang valley peolple won't face water shortages in the near future.
I have questioned the need for spending billions of dollars for this to enrich the contractors making this possible and how the international agencies are ever eager to lend us money for this.
When by right less than that is needed to clean up the Klang river so that its water can be the source for domestic supply of water to all the millions in the Klang Valley.

But no this is not desirable. Why? Because cleaning up of rivers will not be financed by the international agencies and willnot give work to the contractors who will earn billions out of all the projects going to be given out and that some will be able to make tons of money.

Yet we already have a home grown technology, which I have also written about in my column, using quantum physics etc the impurities in the polluted rivers including the heavy metals can be cleaned for a fraction of the cost of bringing in the water from the Pahang River. What is needed is only to clear the physical sampah sarap - which is not that difficult and will also not cost the moon.

But no the government is not interested in this because no money to be made by the cronies?
I have also written extensively onthe lopsided water agreement that we have with singapore which until today has not been resolved. The longer it is in abayance the better it is for that "red dot".
And in the meantime the red dot had now become an extremely fortified island what with an expenditure in excess of over RM30billion a year to have very very sophisticated strike force, arguably the best Air Force this side of the Suez with even some squadrons sited in Taiwan and Aurstalia to ensure quick retaliation whould it be attacked by Malaysian and Indonesia (which Lee Kuan Yew himself specifically mentioned in his latest dytribe in his most recent book).

All this development together with the sophisticated anti-missile shield over the island called the "Dome" which it financed the Israelis to develop.

And thus our water from Johore continued to be pumped to that republic. and what do we get for it? The republic continues to look at us as the country bumkin that it can exploit to the full for its own bnefit while at the ame time its Lee Kuan Yew and his type continue to derride us with contempt.

I have also written quite extensively on this in my column with the latest on the LKY outburst just last Thursday.
I think I should stop now otherwise I'll continue to ramble on and on with no end.
Thanks brother

Rejal Arbee