The past several weeks have had me interested in the plethora of water related challenges we face. I would like to share some of these issues and provide some of the insight I have gained in this field.

Recently, in a geology class I am taking, we have begun to discuss glaciers. While we exit the ice age we are currently in, these glaciers are melting all over the world. Also, in the north pole, there are many shelves of ice being held in place above the water. If one of them were to collapse, the world sea level could rise up to 5 meters due to displacement. Both of these scenarios exhibit problems that result from a great excess of water, however, many of the problems made popular today involve a lack of water.

Water scarcity can be a result of several constraints: geographic, financial, and resource. Each of these can be observed in different societies. The World Economic forum says that resource based water stress will be the norm in China while finance constrained water stress will be the norm in Africa. Characteristics of these societies can tell us why these problems arise. In china there are massive concentrations of population which greatly divides the supply of clean water available to each person. Still, more than 70% of water resources in any country are used for agriculture; to produce an unnecessary abundance of food.



  1. rogerwleblanc · May 2, 2016

    Bryan, thanks for adding this post. It is awesome to hear your perspective on these issues as a geologist now. I am very nervous that water will be a large source of conflict internationally in the future.


  2. garrettfojtik · May 7, 2016

    Bryan, birthday-boy, this is a great post! It is crazy to think about the amount of water used for agriculture – both animal and plant alike. As I mentioned in my Cruelty-Free Lifestyle peer-teaching, the production of one hamburger requires an input of about 660 gallons of water. It is scary to think about the amount of water we waste on animal agriculture compared to the number of people who don’t have access to clean drinking water as a result of poverty.


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