Renewable Water was the natural order for hundreds of millions of years.
What we have done over the last few hundred years is degrade Nature’s ability to sustain Renewable Water by overloading and overwhelming this natural order.
In many ways this is understandable. We got carried away with the euphoria of the empowerment we gave ourselves with the technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution. This set up virtuous circles of population growth, agricultural growth and economic growth that created the “first world” economies and the “first world” urban lifestyle. These virtuous circles powered what were referred to as “economic miracles” for decades, that the rest of the world understandably aspires to emulate.
But this economic model and urban lifestyle is water intensive because it requires a lot of water for bathing and water borne sanitation (a public health necessity for high-density urban living), and for food production both in the agricultural sector (growing crops and livestock) and in food processing (making beverages, packaged food etc).
And the water resource management model that it was built upon is not sustainable.
The “Energy Crisis” that has been so topical for the last half century is founded on two key principles:
- Degradation – burning fossil fuels creates environmental degradation that is unsustainable
- Depletion – fossil fuel resources cannot be replaced or renewed at the rate they are being consumed and will eventually become depleted and run out.