25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

War, famine, mass extinctions and devastating plagues – all of these are coming unless some kind of miraculous solution is found to the world’s rapidly growing water crisis.  By the year 2030, the global demand for water will exceed the global supply of water by an astounding 40 percent according to one very disturbing U.S. government report.  As you read this article, lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers are steadily drying up all over the planet.  The lack of global water could potentially be enough to bring about a worldwide economic collapse all by itself if nothing is done because no society can function without water.  Just try to live a single day without using any water some time.  You will quickly realize how difficult it is.  Fresh water is the single most important natural resource on the planet, and we are very rapidly running out of it.  The following are 25 shocking facts about the Earth’s dwindling water resources that everyone should know…

#1 Right now, 1.6 billion people live in areas of the world that are facing “absolute water scarcity“.

#2 Global water use has quadrupled over the past 100 years and continues to rise rapidly.

#3 One recent study found that a third of all global corn crops are facing “water stress“.

#4 A child dies from a water-related disease every 15 seconds.

#5 By 2025, two-thirds of the population of Earth will “be living under water stressed conditions“.

#6 Due to a lack of water, Chinese food imports now require more land than the entire state of California.

#7 At this point, the amount of water that China imports is already greater than the amount of oil that the United States imports.

#8 Approximately 80 percent of the major rivers in China have become so polluted that they no longer support any aquatic life at all.

#9 The Great Lakes hold about 21 percent of the total supply of fresh water in the entire world, but Barack Obama is allowing water from those lakes “to be drained, bottled and shipped to China” at a frightening pace.

#10 It is being projected that India will essentially “run out of water” by the year 2050.

#11 It has been estimated that 75 percent of all surface water in India has been heavily contaminated by human or agricultural waste.

#12 In the Middle East, the flow of water in the Jordan River is down to only 2 percent of its historic rate.

#13 Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has essentially given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

#14 Of the 60 million people added to the major cities of the world every year, the vast majority of them live in deeply impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

#15 Nearly the entire southwestern United States is experiencing drought conditions as you read this article.  It has been this way for most of the past several years.

#16 Thanks in part to the seemingly endless drought, the price index for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs in the U.S. just hit a new all-time high.

#17 As underground aquifers are relentlessly drained in California, some areas of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking by 11 inches a year.

#18 It is being projected that Lake Mead has a 50 percent chance of running dry by the year 2025.

#19 Most Americans don’t realize this, but the once mighty Colorado River has become so depleted that it no longer runs all the way to the ocean.

#20 According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie” has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940, and it is currently being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

#21 Once upon a time, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is already completely gone.

#22 Approximately 40 percent of all rivers and approximately 46 percent of all lakes in the United States have become so polluted that they are are no longer fit for human use.

#23 Because of the high cost and the inefficient use of energy, desalination is not considered to be a widely feasible solution to our water problems at this time…

The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere is currently under construction in Carlsbad in San Diego County at great expense. The price tag: $1 billion.

Right now, San Diego is almost totally dependent on imported water from Sierra snowmelt and the Colorado River. When the desalination plant comes online in 2016, it will produce 50 million gallons per day, enough to offset just 7 percent of the county’s water usage. That’s a huge bill for not very much additional water.

#24 We have filled the North Pacific Ocean with 100 million tons of plastic, and this is starting to have a very serious affect on the marine food chain.  Ultimately, this could mean a lot less food available from the Pacific Ocean for humans.

#25 One very shocking U.S. government report concluded that the global demand for water will exceed the global supply of water by 40 percent by the year 2030.

Sadly, most Americans are not going to take this report seriously because they can still turn on their taps and get as much fresh water as they want.

For generations, we have been able to take our seemingly endless supplies of fresh water completely for granted, but things have now changed.

We are heading into a horrendous water crisis unlike anything that the world has ever experienced before, and right now there do not seem to be any large scale solutions capable of addressing this crisis.

Hundreds of millions of people living in North Africa, the Middle East, India and parts of China already deal with severe water shortages as part of their daily lives.

But this is just the beginning.

If nothing is done, the lack of fresh water will eventually be deeply felt by nearly everyone on the entire planet.

30 thoughts on “25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources”

  1. #24 is one of the worst. They actually make liquid soap and shampoo that has little plastic globules in it – the better to create luxurious hair, I guess. So these little grains of non-biodegradable plastic make their way into the rivers, lakes & oceans. If I were in congress, I’d work to ban that shit yesterday. Aw crap – I might be a liberal. Next I’ll start turning gay. Tastes like chicken, I hear.

  2. See #21. In another life I was in the “water bidness”. 🙂 1960s. Based on irrigation usage in the Texas Panhandle, we predicted the now-extant problem.

    Trouble is, people resent being told, “If A, then B.” They don’t want to give up the old normal.

  3. No worries we have plenty of water, but getting to it may be a problem.


    Massive ‘ocean’ discovered towards Earth’s core

    19:00 12 June 2014 by Andy Coghlan

    A reservoir of water three times the volume of all the oceans has been discovered deep beneath the Earth’s surface. The finding could help explain where Earth’s seas came from.

    The water is hidden inside a blue rock called ringwoodite that lies 700 kilometres underground in the mantle, the layer of hot rock between Earth’s surface and its core.

    The huge size of the reservoir throws new light on the origin of Earth’s water. Some geologists think water arrived in comets as they struck the planet, but the new discovery supports an alternative idea that the oceans gradually oozed out of the interior of the early Earth.

    “It’s good evidence the Earth’s water came from within,” says Steven Jacobsen of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The hidden water could also act as a buffer for the oceans on the surface, explaining why they have stayed the same size for millions of years.

  4. Iska Waran- Tastes like chicken, I hear.

    As TBP resident expert on all things that taste of chicken, Stucky would be the one to ask

  5. Could be why the Bush family has invested in 1000’s of acres of land in Paraguay, which sits atop one of the world’s largest aquifers,

  6. @Stuck, it is because they didn’t pay their bills. Appeal to the f’ing UN.

    And our solution is to give MORE to these human financial vampires. Cripes.

    As for fresh water, yep. Private industries and gubments make more money the more this valuable resource is squandered.

    Say bye-bye to the days of 30 minute showers and 20 pairs of clean blue jeans.

    Can you imagine how badly most people are going to smell once water is rationed? Yuck. Invest in nosegays, I see them coming back in style.

  7. “#19 Most Americans don’t realize this, but the once mighty Colorado River has become so depleted that it no longer runs all the way to the ocean.”

    Overblown hype. The Colorado River hasn’t run to the ocean for way over 20 years mainly because of the Central Arizona Project (CAP), which pumps out thousands of acre-feet per year and sends it to Phoenix and Tucson, and vastly increased usage in Southern California.

    Tucson Water recycles the CAP waste water in the area and sends it to recharging ponds in Avra Valley, which filters the water down to the U.S.’s second largest aquifer that USED TO BE the main source of water for the city. Unlike the Ogallala Aquifer, the water in the aquifer has increased about 90 feet in the past decade.

  8. The US, if it gets its head out of its ass, is in a unique position to take advantage of the coming shortfalls of food and water.

  9. @SSS and Llpoh, yes we have much of earth’s fresh water.

    We also have greedy politicians that are selling the rights to it to foreign countries and private industries.

    One might be amazed at how quickly that water would go away if we were under orders to send it all to China, whom, after all, processes 70% of our processed crap food and imports water from the world over to do it.

    If one were to try and guess what might happen when our dollar goes to shit, rioting breaks out and the few jobs around are either jackboots taking our guns and killing us, or working for Mr. Asia and raping the countryside to ship our resources across the ocean.

    I don’t know why so many refuse to start looking at the worst possible scenarios and outcomes. Of course that is probably why so much stuff is so messed up now. Failure to acknowledge reality, history and failure.

    But I’m sure a country that has turned 1/3 of itself into victims and another 1/3 into permanent drug-taking “patients” while killing thousands/millions around the globe in the name of freedom, will absolutely, positively, do the right thing without any corruption, or greed, when it comes to our most basic necessity.

    Sure it will. Our kids and grandkids will wonder how we could be so blind.

  10. TE – I do not think it is economically viable to transport large quantities of water by supertanker. Humans use vastly more water than oil, so you can imagine the issues re transporting it. The tunnel they are building to carry water into NYC is something like 25 feet in diameter – for say 20 million people. So you can imagine the issues of transporting it to supply a billion people,

    You would need vast pipelines to get the water to ports, and then the logistics of loading it onto tankers would be truly horrific.

    Water can be transferred around land via pipelines, at huge infrastructure costs, but I do not see export as feasible. At least not in quantities sufficient to support agriculture.

  11. China uses about 300,000 gallons of water per person per year. Agriculture and industry take most of that. No way they can import enough water via tanker to make a dent in that total.

  12. “@SSS and Llpoh, yes we have much of earth’s fresh water. We also have greedy politicians that are selling the rights to it to foreign countries and private industries.”

    Jesus Christ, woman, look at a fucking map and do the math on the world’s population. 5% of the people on this planet controls 80% of the fresh water. In terms of the future, that’s huge.

    And what’s up with your shit about selling water rights? Did someone sell Lake Superior to Saudi Arabia while Obama and Canada weren’t looking? As for selling water to private industries, WTF is your problem? Is that some sort of crime? I’m fucking amazed that Campbell’s buys water, lots of water, to make soup. I have more on this Chicken Little bullshit article as it affects the U.S., as in ………

    “#22 Approximately 40 percent of all rivers and approximately 46 percent of all lakes in the United States have become so polluted that they are no longer fit for human use.”

    I don’t believe one goddamned word in this sentence. What is the definition of “human use?” Before or AFTER it hits a water treatment plant. You can throw a tiny iodine tablet in a canteen of water from a fucking cattle pond and safely drink it after about an hour. How about “agriculture use?” Is that ok? Can we use it for crops and animals? Pretty please?

    Want more? Name the rivers and lakes. Not even ONE spectacular example is provided.


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