Water is vital for our continued survival on our Earth - for drinking, cooking, manufacturing, mining and farming. Without clean water to drink or to grow crops we can expect negative health effects from malnutrition and other health impacts and further loss of life worldwide.
Arguments about who owns water rights is already a major bugbear between nations where major river systems travel through many countries - the citizens of each country naturally demand their equal share of this vital resource. "Ownership" and "rights" are fragile and hotly contested; those upstream are accused of taking more than their "fair share" and dumping pollutants, debris and toxins in for others down stream to manage as best they can.
Increased demands on water from irrigators, communities, mining and farming is creating tension and an underlying bitterness in country Australia. Conflicting needs and divided communities can leave scars that will be hard to heal. Unfortunately thrown into the mix is the willingness of the powerful, high profile, influential, subsidised fossil fuel industry to use well funded persuasive techniques to convince policy makers that their way is the only way. These techniques are sometimes referred to as 'obstructive', when electricity companies are unable to purchase power from suppliers using renewable energy, such as wind or solar farms, due to contractual obligations.
In Australia, users downstream in the Murray-Darling Basin are left without enough water for their farms and communities, with towns struggling to remain viable. Signs along one of our major river systems show a waterway experiencing enormous stress.
However, many waterside locations are increasingly viewed by insurance companies as somewhat negative, and insurance premiums reflect that industry's acceptance of the impact climate change will have on homes and industries built in 'problematic' areas. Increasing sea levels, the damage from storm surges, erosion and pollution from on land and via ocean currents, are having a disastrous affect on home prices in formerly desirable, wealthy suburbs.
The impact of stressed water systems affects not only home prices by the oceans, but recreational activities inland as well; entire communities and regions are suffering.
Venice is well known for flooding. Enterprising souls now sell single use waterproof boots ... Now that's looking at a problem creatively and making it into an opportunity! How will other cities respond when a similar problem unfolds?
Last year I wrote about Why me? for W in my theme on Workplace bullying here, and Weirdo here