I’ve been quite vocal about how one day we will have to accept that things we get for free may not be free forever. Water is of particular concern for everyone not simply because it’s a necessity, but because almost none of us live with water scarcity anymore its often hard to connect the dots when it comes to facing real water shortages.
Take for instance California, whose three year drought has reached new and frightening proportions. There are some excellent articles about what impact the drought is having here and here, but take a look at these images of water reserves from 2011 and then the same locations from 2014. Running out of water is a frightening prospect, but 30 million people don’t just pack up and move because water has gotten a little scarce. What happens instead is you begin paying more for water while getting less back in economic benefits.
I highly recommend Elizabeth Renzetti’s excellent piece in the Globe and Mail today, and I suggest everyone have a read of it. Its an excellent reminder that the biggest issue we face in managing serious economic and environmental problems is not a lack of skill, knowledge, or imagination, but a simple willingness to face the problem. The outcome of which is usually higher costs for everybody immediately, and possibly disastrous results in the future.