Monday, February 23

A Message for Indian Readers

1.  The country that shifts to a focus on water security now, even if this means scaling back on development and trade, will come out on top in global trade and internal economic security by the turn of this decade.

2.  If this focus on water is confined to only a few regions in India, then you're going to see the same basic problem that Mumbai faced with millions of job-seekers from all over India converging on the city. However, it's going to be even worse when these internal refugees are fleeing severe water scarcity. And internal refugees will be competing with huge waves of refugees from S.W. Asia and maybe parts of Central Asia who'll be fleeing water scarcity within about two years. The waves could include people from parts of Pakistan. There will be no way to keep all those refugees out of India -- although I hope the Indian military is war-gaming that scenario.

3.  Add to this an increasing problem worldwide that's even struck here in the USA, as California agribusiness shifted some agriculture from the state's worst-hit drought regions.  Seemed to work at first, as crops were shifted to fertile parts of Oregon and Texas. Then farmers in those parts began running out of water.  This happened within about only two years -- from water abundance to drought.  Turned out the farmers didn't know how little groundwater they had left.

So this could be called 'rolling artificial droughts' or man-made droughts.  Rolling from one nearby region to another. But this sets up conditions for a chain reaction of artificial droughts that engulf more and more land. 
Meanwhile, the people affected by these rolling droughts flee to other regions within the country. But because of modern transportation these internal diasporas can happen very quickly -- and thus, quickly overwhelming the infrastructures in the region that sees the refugees.

4.  These chain reactions can occur more quickly in this era than modern governments are capable of dealing with.

5.  Every aspect of water security should come under close review in every Indian state, including cleaning up water polluted by industrial and agricultural chemical runoffs. I don't know whether governments in all those states or the national government have the capacity for this kind of review or whether any such review done earlier needs updating.

So this could be a crowdsourcing project.
6. As to China -- I can't even try to estimate how long they've got left, although I do know from news reports last year that they're facing severe and entrenched water crises in several regions. I also know they waste oceans of water.  So I'd leave them and their river-source bullying to heaven and the Indian military.

I'd focus on asking what you as a private citizen can do to protect and amplify every single drop of water available to India -- even if you can only help publicize the urgency of the situation or do research on water issues for a small region in the country.  But there has to be a tremendous amount of data mining so that financial and human resources applied to solutions are used in the most efficient ways.

Make your start at figuring out how you can best help, and I think help will come to you in this regard.  Why now?  I don't write the scripts; I just say the lines.


1 comment:

Rahul said...

I am a bit intrigued as to why you chose to make it a message specifically to your Indian readers (I am one of those).

I have been thinking about this topic vaguely for a few years but haven't has a chance to examine the situation in greater detail. Would love to see you write more on this.