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ISSUEFOCUS
Water crisis looming
China’s demand for clean water is pro-
jected to rise to 585 billion cubic metres
Total Actual Renewable Water Resources
per day by 2010. That is equivalent to
8%
1,000 times the daily volume of water ap-
22%
proaching Niagara falls’ during peak flow
20%
season.
18%
e
Amongst BRIC developing countries,
16%
Brazil
Bubble size=
India’s and China’s water resources are
14%
45,570
TARWR(m3) per capita
very much below what will be needed to
12%
support their populations adequately.
10% Russia
Growing water scarcity and greater
TARWR Volum
8%
31,650
willingness by China’s central and local
6%
China
governments to utilize market-based
4%
USA
India
2,140
10,270
mechanisms to resolve the problem are
2%
1,750
good news for Chinese water treatment
0%
firms such as China Everbright, China Wa-
0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12%14% 16% 18% 20% 22%24%
ter Affairs Group, Guangdong Investment,
Beijing Capital Company and Tianjin Capi-
Source: FAO-AQUASTAT, 2005, Fusion Consulting analysis
tal Environmental Protection Company.
Notes: TARWR = Total Actual Renewable Water Resources, an index that reflects the wa-
ter resources theoretically available for development from all sources within a country ex-
Opportunities also exist for foreign firms
pressed in km3/year.
such as Véolia Water, Suez and Berlin Wa-
ter, as they collaborate with municipalities in building or upgrading water treatment facilities.
Demand-based solutions that better manage demand and improve resource efficiency such as recycling and reclamation technolo-
gies or multi-tier pricing will be in vogue. Supply-based solutions, such as desalinization or reallocation schemes (e.g. South-to-North
Water Diversion) will also continue apace. - Source: Global Intelligence Alliance
War for water
To find out more about the global water crisis, we recommend the following viewing and reading.
Blue Gold Flow China’s Water Crisis
Based on a book by Maude Barlow and This award-winning documentary is an Written by Ma Jun, China’s most well
Tony Clarke, this documentary by Sam investigation by Irena Salina’s into what known environmentalist, this book has
Bozzo follows numerous worldwide ex- experts label the most important political been compared to Rachel Carson’s clas-
amples of people fighting for their basic and environmental issue of the 21st Cen- sic work, Silent Spring, which called at-
right to water, from court cases to violent tury - the world water crisis. Salina builds tention to America’s environmental crisis.
revolutions to U.N. conventions to revised a case against the growing privatization of Ma Jun documents the persistent drought
constitutions to local protests at grade the world’s dwindling fresh water supply conditions in the southeast, the impact
schools. Corporate giants force develop- with an unflinching focus on politics, pol- of pollutants on the Tibetan plateau, the
ing countries to privatize their water sup- lution, human rights, and the emergence defects in China’s large-scale reservoirs,
ply for profit. Wall of a domineering steadily diminish-
Street investors tar- world water car- ing underground
get desalination and tel. The film intro- water tables, and
mass bulk water ex- duces many of the the growing abuse
port schemes. Cor- governmental and of aquifers for ur-
rupt governments corporate culprits banization and in-
use water for eco- behind the water dustrialization. The
nomic and political grab, while beg- findings are bleak,
gain, setting the ging the question but his message
stage for world wa- “Can anyone really is that something
ter wars. own water?” can still be done.
www.chainaonline.com JULY/AUGUST 2009 19
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