Thursday, February 5, 2009
Frank Rijsberman, Program Director at Google.org and formerly Director General of the International Water Management Institute, investigates the global water scarcity problem in an essay published on Boston Review. Global water scarcity A rapidly growing population means that we need rethink the world's water resources – both use and distribution. Rijsberman analyzes causes for the impending crisis, and addresses possible solutions, which he believes must include both technological and political innovation. The problems are serious, but Rijsberman remains optimistic: "We can avoid a full-blown global disaster. Unfortunately, the water crisis is complicated, often misunderstood, rarely grasped holistically, accelerated by climate change that melts glaciers and icecaps, and exacerbated by biofuel expansion that further stresses scarce water supplies. Forestalling it will require a mix of sustained technological innovation and institutional reform, all guided by deeper understanding and some new thinking."