The future conflicts will be over water. Climate change has altered the distribution of water, and while sea levels will rise, drought will afflict much of the planet.
Meanwhile, industries from fracking to agriculture to paper-making contaminate our water tables, and neglected infrastructure threatens our drinking water with toxins and leaks.
Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
Water will become the single most important resource in the future as mismanagement and greed strain the access to this seemingly ubiquitous substance.
Water is essential to every aspect of industry and agriculture and is grossly taken for granted. The extraction industry known as fracking injects a chemical cocktail and millions of gallons of water into the ground to force out natural gas, and the sewage from livestock and pesticide runoff from crops end up in our waterways.
With the advent of bottled water came the delusion that we don't have to care for our local water sources, but this sets up crippling corporate dependencies and generates staggering amounts of plastic waste. As bottling corporations drain fresh water from aquifers, battles over public vs. private ownership of water will escalate.
The oceans are acidifying at unprecedented speed, coral reefs dying, ocean life choking, and with it the destruction of a major food source, a job source and the life sustaining beauty of our waterways.
Tired of gloomy environmental forecasts? Do something about it. Don't believe the prognosis? Just look around. The conflict in Syria began when a drought that lasted from 2006 to 2011 drove farmers from their land to the cities where overpopulation and strife lead to civil war. Environmental stress is a major accelerator of conflict. Water will be what we're fighting for.
Flow: How did a handful of corporations steal our water? by Irina Salina