23 May 2010

For want of a drink

...is the title of a phantastic special issue on water in the Economist this week. An absolutely worthwhile read, front to back, for anyone interested in a primer on the global context of water, drinking water, sanitation, food production, water scarcity, water pollution, water management, and water politics and its importance to the planet's livelihood and survival. The report touches on all the important areas and does it well, REALLY well! The author, John Grimond, is to be congratulated to this series. This is the best thing "water" in the general media that I have ever seen, when it comes to providing an overview of water issues around the globe. It is an extremely timely article. It comes just ahead of our conference on "Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: An International Conference Linking Science with Policy", 15-17 June 2010, in San Francisco. Conference speakers include a number of the experts that John consulted with in preparation for his articles.

From my perspective - and related to several of the notes below - kudos to John Grimond also for making a successful effort to convey the hydrologic concept of "consumptive water use" (water that goes to evapotranspiration) in contrast to non-consumptive water uses (e.g., water down the kitchen sink), for pointing out the importance of agricultural water use and its link to feeding the world, for getting it right on the importance of crop ET, and for the clever integration of groundwater concepts into this whirlwind tour of global water.

Here is a list of links to the individual articles:

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