Water Wars

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Written By: Jim Greenberg

An Unpleasant Fact

Dirty waterThere are some facts we all would rather not think about, particularly those that force us to face unpleasant truths. One of those facts is that there are places in the world today where the need for people to share limited fresh water supplies is causing conflict. The south Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are two of these places. As described by T.P. Sreenivasan, former ambassador of India, in the The New York Times, “If Kerala and Tamil Nadu were independent countries with their own armies, they might have been at war by now over the water held behind a dam in Kerala that supplies Tamil Nadu.” According to Sreenivasan, “Protests and demonstrations have lasted for more than five years and tensions have been so elevated recently that some citizens have resorted to violence as India’s federal government, for the most part, has watched helplessly.”

According to the United Nations (UN Works-For People and the Planet/The Global Water Crisis), this problem could accelerate dramatically in the next two decades:

“Today, 800 million people live under a threshold of ‘water stress.’ As rivers dry up, lakes shrink and groundwater reserves get depleted, that figure will rise up to 3 billion in 2025, especially in parts of Asia and Africa.”

Cooperation Across Borders

Pointing to the path of solutions, UN Works gives this admonition: “Water is ultimately a shared resource. Two-fifths of humanity lives in river and lake basins that lie within two or more countries. Tied together in a web of interdependence, these societies can either suffer from increasing political conflicts or benefit from cooperation.”

The choice of cooperation calls to our higher selves. We have available, the means to implement cooperative efforts through technologies that can produce voluminous quantities of fresh water. One of these technologies is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).

glass-of-waterBy tapping into the natural and sustainable bounty from our oceans, Ocean Thermal Energy Plants use the temperature differential between warm ocean surface water and cold deep water to create baseload (24/7) renewable energy. This same energy can then be used to power attached desalination plants -water purification systems that move salt and effluent materials from water molecules to produce fresh drinking water. So the choice really is ours.

Management by Forethought or Crisis?

With that choice clearly facing us today, the pressing question becomes, “Do we manage escalating global water shortages now by thoughtful foresight and planning, including a strong move toward more renewable energies such as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC),or, do we wait for the inevitable and predictable, in which case we will manage by crisis?”  Short-termism can be deadly. Responsible citizens lives by the sound principle that some measure of advanced long-term planning is wise in their financial and personal affairs. We  would certainly expect the same thinking from our business and political leaders.

Fortunately, Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTE) embraces this way of thinking. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion utilizes the world’s most abundant resource that covers 71% of the Earth’s surface to create clean, fresh drinking water. By globally commercializing this technology as one major solution to the world’s water crisis, Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation is taking action today  to help create a cleaner, more peaceful tomorrow for our children and grandchildren.