Thursday, May 20, 2021




Yesterday I read the BLOGFODDRE post Remembering the Farm: Water, Wells and Dugouts.   He wrote of the difficulty of obtaining water on his family’s farm in Saskatchewan, Canada.


His post brought to mind my memories of water in the small delta town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi during the 1950’s.   I was always told that Rolling Fork got its water from an artesian well – I know absolutely nothing of the source.   I do remember when I took a bath, the water in the tub was piss yellow.  There was a swimming pool in town and the pool water looked like tea.  The deep end of the pool was eight feet and the water was so dark you could not see the bottom at that depth.  We drank that water and never thought anything about it.


Of course, the world population in 1950 is estimated at 2.5 billion, now we are approaching a world population of eight billion.  Water consumption, water waste and water pollution are exponentially greater than the mid twentieth century.


If anyone had considered selling a bottle of water back then, they would have been laughed at.  Water was free: it came from the sky, and rivers and lakes were full of it, you could dig a well and hit water.


That was then, this is now.  Water is now a critical commodity.  Cities have been built in the deserts, people water their lawns, mega-farms irrigate crops; costal marshes have been decimated, rivers are running low, lakes are drying up.   Humans have squandered water sources thinking the supply unlimited.  


California is now in the process of converting sewer water into drinking water.   There are many areas in the United States where water conservation is a pressing issue, and repurposing sewerage may become an accepted solution.


Climate change will acerbate this problem, and it is quite feasible that in the not-too-distant future wars could be fought over water sources.


the Ol’Buzzard




  1. Wars over water are already happening. They're just not reported that way. A lot of the conflict in Africa is rooted in drought forcing farmers and pastoralists to compete for dwindling resouces. One of the things driving the Syrian civil war is drought.

  2. Canada has one of the largest (if not THE largest?) reserves of fresh water in the world. Guess we better start beefing up our Armed Forces, eh?

  3. You have hit the nail on the head. Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over. Scarcity of drinking water will limit population soon enough. Watering lawns has got to stop, as does high pressure sprinkler irrigation. The civil war in Syria started when drought pushed too many people off their land into the cities to try to survive. When American tanks cross the Canadian border, it won't be for oil, it will be for water.


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