Quirks & Quarks

The Future of Fresh Water

Listener Thomas Delahooke from Vancouver's prediction of the future is not of a technological utopia.
A well (Copyright D. Kerr)
Listener Thomas Delahooke from Vancouver's prediction of the future is not of a technological utopia.  He's concerned about one of our fundamental needs, and worries that climate change and over-extraction will mean that, in the next fifty years, we may run out of fresh water.  Dr. Diana Allen, who studies water issues in the Department of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University, shares his concern.  Dr. Allen points out that climate change will lead to the loss of glacial melt that feeds many rivers, and that shifts in weather patterns are expected to leave some areas around the world drier.  She's also studied groundwater supplies - water that feeds wells - and notes that in many parts of the world groundwater is being removed far more quickly than it can be replenished.  However, she thinks local water shortages are more likely than running out altogether, and thinks improved management of water resources could make a huge difference.

Related links:
Dr. Diana Allen
Water Under Fire - Documentary TV series hosted by Bob McDonald

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