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Water Scarcity Could Pose a Risk to Global SecurityTimothy A. Hill, Global Communications Director, Dow Water & Process Solutions Climate change is causing water shortages which ultimately could lead to a global risk for both energy and food supplies. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as many as two billion people may be at risk from increasing water stress by the 2050s, and that this number could rise to 3.2 billion by the 2080s. Water is a component of all forms of energy and food supplies. It takes five gallons of water to produce one gallon of gasoline. As much as 70 per cent of all water is used globally for irrigation. In northeast China, one of the country's main grain-producing regions, climate change could increase drought losses by over 50 per cent by 2030. Climate change is likely to create difficulties meeting the growing demand for energy. Over 75 per cent of the global increase in energy use from 2007 to 2030 is expected to be met through fossil fuels, especially coal.In China, industrial water demand in 2030 is projected at 265 billion m3, which accounts for 40 per centĀ of the additional industrial demand worldwide. Demand for water for domestic use will decrease from 14 per cent today to 12 per cent in 2030.Many parts of the continent have reached the limits of water supplies. India's Ganges river and China's Yellow river no longer flow. India and China have been able to feed their populations because they use water in an unsustainable way. In India the Hindu river, the Ganges, is so depleted that the Sundarban wetlands and mangrove forests of Bangladesh are seriously threatened. As more trees are chopped down, and more buildings erected along its banks, the glaciers supplying the river have been melting, raising fears of shortages and drought downstream. The river has been the subject of a long-running dispute between India and Bangladesh, although recently progress has been made in resolving the conflict.All three rivers feeding China's Northern Plain are severely polluted, damaging health and limiting irrigation. The lower reaches of the Yellow river, which feeds China's most important farming region, ran dry for 226 days in 1997. Northern China is home to two-thirds of the country's cropland but only one-fifth of its water. As competing demands for water are made by cities, industry and agriculture, the land is drying up. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China lost 35 billion cubic meters (9.3 million gallons) of water every year over the past decade. That is as much water lost to China each year as flows through the mouth of the Mississippi River in nine months. Chinese climatologists and hydrologists attribute much of the drop to climate change, which is disrupting patterns of rain and snowfall. China's demand for energy, particularly for coal, is outpacing its freshwater supply. Production of coal has tripled since 2000 to 3.15 billion metric tons a year. Government analysts predict that China's energy companies will need to produce an additional billion metric tons of coal annually by 2020, representing a 30 percent increase. Fresh water needed for mining, processing, and consuming coal accounts for the largest share of industrial water use in China, or roughly 120 billion cubic metres a year, a fifth of all the water consumed nationally.Right: Timothy A. Hill.076 WATER

The US also lost water, a total of 19 billion cubic meters (5.02 trillion gallons) in the period from 1985 to 2005. Ninety-five per cent of the United States' fresh water is underground. As farmers in the Texan High Plains pump groundwater faster than rain replenishes it, the water tables are dropping. North America's largest aquifer, the Ogallala, is being depleted at a rate of 12 billion cubic metres a year. Total depletion to date amounts to some 325 billion cubic metres, a volume equal to the annual flow of 18 Colorado Rivers. The Ogallala stretches from Texas to South Dakota, and waters one fifth of US irrigated land. Many farmers in the High Plains are now turning away from irrigated agriculture, as they become aware of the hazards of overpumping, and realise water is not in endless supply.Advances in technologies are now being developed to reduce the cost of desalination with lower energy membrane purification technology and water-reducing irrigation methods. Over the next five years the amount of desalinated water is projected to increase by 300 per cent. We will need to adopt these technologies and other to meet the global water shortage before it is too late. For more information, please visit: nABOUT THE AUTHORTimothy A. Hill is the Global Communications Leader for Dow Chemical's water business. In this role, he researches and studies megatrends in the water industry and has authored numerous white papers which have been presented to the United Nations and at international conferences and symposiums including the World Water Week in Stockholm and the American Water Summit. Mr Hill also serves as a member of Dow Chemical's global Water Steering Committee and is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.Water is the most precious resource in the Middle East, more important even than oil. Saudi Arabia, the most water scarce country in the world is using its US$100 of barrel oil to power thermal desalination plants to create clean drinking water. The Saudis have the most desalination plants in the world; 25 and counting. The most precious resource in the region flows in the River Jordan, or resides in the aquifers that link Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Jordan River, once a river with rapids and waterfalls, was expected to run dry by 2011.The Jordan runs 217 kilometres from the Syria-Lebanon border, down through Israel and into the Sea of Galilee, forming the border between the Kingdom of Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west before entering the Dead Sea. The river once had a flow of 1.3 billion cubic meters a year, but that number has diminished to an estimated 20 to 30 million cubic metres. More than half of Europe's cities are exploiting groundwater at unsustainable rates. Chronic water shortages are already affecting 4.5 million people in Catalonia, where authorities are pressing for the construction of a pipeline to divert water from the Rhone in France to Barcelona.Australia is the world's driest continent. Over the years engineers have tried numerous ways to turn coastal rivers inland. Even a plan to reverse the flow of the Snowy River has failed, threatening to deprive Adelaide of fresh water. The region that the diverted Snowy River now feeds is bounded by Australia's two longest rivers, the Murray and the Darling. The water tables under this land are now rising, pushing deadly quantities of salt to the surface. The salt has already destroyed some of the country's most productive farmland. The Murray-Darling basin produces three-quarters of Australia's irrigated crops. Many of the basin's tributaries may be unusable for irrigation in 20 years' time, let alone as a source of drinking water." According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China lost 35 billion cubic meters (9.3 million gallons) of water every year over the past decade "WATER 077