With World Water Week only days away, the World Wildlife Federation has released a new report [pdf] that finds, increasingly, water is all of our problem, not just one people in developing countries need worry about. One of the first comprehensive studies on global water problems, the report's title says it all, "Rich countries, poor water": scarcity and pollution are two issues facing places like Australia, the US, the UK, Japan, Spain. From increased salinity threatening Australia's fresh water to "water-intensive tourism and irrigated agriculture [that] are endangering water resources in the Mediterranean" to the US using more water than can naturally be replenished, the problems outlined are pretty depressing, but the report takes a hard look at the causes and cures. Part of the solution is for the "first world" not to disengage with the problem, the WWF says. True, water isn't a sexy issue--there are no fuzzy baby mammals involved and few celebrity endorsers (I wonder if many have even kept reading this post to this point)--yet it's integral to the life of our cities (which contribute to the largest growth in water demands), our agriculture (WWF points out that most everywhere farms get greater water subsidies than industry), and the manufacture of our products. Please read this important report.
at 8:37 AM