GLOBAL RESOURCES ANALYSIS
EFFECTS | HIGHER WATER PRICES
As clean sweet water become more and more scarce the price of clean sweet water will rise. Till now water is a typical local product that till now not is by human activities transported over long distance (accept of course natural by rivers). As water become scarce it will get a greater economic value. Both actual water (mainly for cities) and virtual water (mainly for mainly importing economies). High water prices will have a price rising effect on both agricultural commodities (coffee, tea, cotton, sugar, wheat, corn) and imported fresh fruit and vegetables. Making food (and therefore living) much more expensive. Grow|OS can reduce the water demand of fruit and vegetables and therefore will also be used for local food production in water deficit area's even when they are near the Equator in very grow stimulating climates. The accessibility to water is equal to wealth. An example: Spain is drawing a giant sweet water plan (Spanish National Hydrological Plan), with a cost of E 19 billion (for the first phase). The government wants to create 112 new water reservoirs and dig/blast 1000 km channels out of the 910 km / 565 mile long Ebro River (the river with the greatest discharge in Spain) for distribution of her water to the more southern parts of Spain, with the attached price of salination of the Ebro delta in the Tarragona province, midway between Barcelona and Valencia. Also these investments must be paid, partial by the government, partial by the water users, increasing water bills in southern Spain severely. Opposition against this SNHP claims that curing the infrastructural water losses of 20-25% in targeted supply area's a much more better solution will be, but this asks for a complete new water distributing infrastructure in the whole of South Spain, but that will increases the water prices in Spain even more. Below a graph of water system losses in several countries in the EU. Other opposition movements promote a rainwater conservation legislation plan, that demands roof rainwater storage facilities in each new house (like Belgium and Germany already have), or even for each existing house/building. More demand (real estate boom in South Spain) by less supply and higher exploration costs has always its price. Spain is the first government that addresses the water issue. Other nations will follow. All sewer systems in the Western World are average 40 till 100 years old and leaking severely contaminated waste water into clean ground water layers. Redevelopment of sewer and water infrastructures will burden national governments (and therefore economies) severely the next decade in times with already severe PeakOil caused and other headwinds. Ordinary every day clean sweet water will be scarce and water certainly will become the 'oil' of the 21st century. Water for free, or cheap water prices will become an illusion in the years to come.
Author: Gijs Graafland
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