When looking for life on other worlds, astronomers attempt to find the tell-tale signs of water for the simple fact that we cannot imagine the existence life without it. Concerns regarding global water resources are increasing as the human population grows, while the small percentage of fresh water on Earth remains static or decreased in some areas. America’s water resources are also of concern, as the likely result of global climate change is the decrease of mountain snowpack that provides a large amount of western water and an increase in evaporation due to increased temperatures.1 Further, groundwater resources face unsustainable drawdown to meet population needs and increased pressure as climate change decreases surface water resources.2
Rocky Anderson recognizes that water resources are of grave concern for our planet’s, and species’, health and future. Water resources also factor into human rights and justice, because as fresh, clean water becomes scarce, those that can least afford it will be impacted the greatest. A National Intelligence Estimate report finds that in the coming decades, water resources will be used as a weapon, and conflicts directly related to water resources will increase.3There are many examples of water resources being fought over or used as a weapon of war, such as in the siege of Sarejevo in 1992.4 In order to reduce or reverse the ecological and humanitarian costs of water resource threats, Rocky will continue supporting this vital resource by:
- Setting the United States on course for a zero-net-carbon economy by mid-century, thereby limiting the damage to our ecosystem due to global climate change.
- Initiating a national water conservation program, recognizing that water that isn’t used doesn’t need expensive and resource-intensive treatment.
- Prudently supporting international efforts and organizations that work towards greater water resource security by best management practices, sustainable irrigation projects, education, and direct support.
- Evaluating our nation’s reservoirs for need and efficiency to determine if more rivers can be restored to their natural state.
- Supporting research into non-GMO crop breeding that can increase food yields while decreasing water consumption.
- 1. IPCC 2007, Summary for Policymakers, in Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, p. 11.
- 2. Ground-Water Depletion Across the Nation, USGS Fact Sheet 103-03
- 3. www.dni.gov/nic/ICA_Global%20Water%20Security.pdf
- 4. Gleick, P.H. 1998. "Water and conflict." (See Chronologies A and B.) In P.H. Gleick, The World’s Water 1998-1999, Island Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 105-135.