Tue, 29 June 2010
In Hot Water: The Trouble with the Virtual Water Trade and the Role of Corporations, Investors and Governments in Solving the World Water Crisis.
Water is essential for life, but it's also essential for our economy. We all use water for drinking, bathing, watering crops and gardens, and so on. But a surprising amount of water use is bound up in the products we purchase and consume from corporations. Chemical manufacturing, energy production, mineral extraction and commercial farming all require massive amounts of water to run viable businesses, and they often take water locally to make products that get sold internationally.
But countries and companies have few contingency plans for what happens if this virtual trade in water runs dry -- which could happen sooner rather than later according to a recent World Bank report that predicts the demand of water will outstrip supply by 40% in the next 20 years.
This episode, we are joined by Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, to talk about the virtual global water trade, how it affects local communities as well as multinational corporations and what companies, investors and governments need to do to avert the global water crisis.
[Music: Madlib, "Slim's Return" from Shades of Blue (Blue Note, 2003); Animal Collective, "Brother Sport" from Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino Recording, 2009), Photo: Flickr user pdkliment]