This is a clear problem of money and distribution. A good example of greediness and lack of distribution is happening in Peru. I was doing a tour through the highlands behind the city of Cajamarca and the tour guy was saying that the most profitable gold mine in Latin America, Yanacocha, wants to expand the mine and explode the Quilish Mountain that serves the indigenous community as a water resource.
Photo retrieved from: http://www.sacredland.org/mount-quilish/
This mountain is high enough that during rainy days it absorbs all the water from the earth and keeps it, so during summer time when there’s no water available, the community utilizes this water. The rock containing the gold is loosened by daily dynamite blasts, and then piled up and sprayed with cyanide solution. The solution that runs off is then processed to remove the gold. The mine is already affecting the environment of this community, if they get to explode the mountain there would be no water available for farmers, plants, and even the people that live in the rural area.
Cajamarca protest projects on Mount Quilish. Photo retrieved from: http://www.sacredland.org/mount-quilish/
The shortage and imbalance of water of suitable quality will become the most important factors in limiting future agricultural production as well as the availability of food in all parts of the world. What is happening in Peru is just an example of what happens in many countries. Nature gives us all the resource, even in the most remote place, yet we still manage to focus on the materialism and survival of those who can. The hungry masses of the world have come to depend upon dams for irrigation of cropland and a continued water supply. Instead, conservative water use practices such as drip irrigation and water re-use that should be practice as a long-term solution. We have the technology to process any water source for any use. It’s a matter of the governments of the world sitting down with the common goal of long term survival and setting up their priorities straight.
R. Schertenleib. (2005). From Convenient to Advance Environmental Sanitation. Water Science and Technology, Vol51. Retrieved from http://220.127.116.11/scholar?q=cache:YRgiq12fiEEJ:scholar.google.com/+estimate+percentage+of+world+population+that+doesn%27t+have+sanitary+drinking+water&hl=en&as_sdt=2000
Michaud. (February 2001). Is Our Future Dammed?. Water Conditioning & Purification. Retrived from http://www.wcponline.com/pdf/0201dammed.pdf
Langdon, Shanna. (September 2000). Peru’s Yanacocha Gold Mine: The IFC’S Midas Touch?. Retrived from. http://www.ciel.org/Ifi/ifccaseperu.html