New Release: Water Wars
Categories: Ecology & Sustainability
In her new book, Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit, award-winning scientist and activist Vandana Shiva details the severity of the global water shortage, exposing the destruction of the earth and the disenfranchisement of the world’s poor as they are stripped of their rights to a precious natural resource. The book takes readers on a powerful journey through history and around the world, exposing what Shiva believes to be the major contributing factors of the global water crisis; climate “chaos,” industrial agriculture, mining, and drought.
Below is an adapted first look:
Tags: Sustainability & Conservation Vandana Shiva
Industrial agriculture has pushed food production to use methods by which the water retention of soil is reduced and the demand for water is increased. By failing to recognize water as a limiting factor in food production, industrial agriculture has promoted waste. The shift from organic fertilizers to chemical fertilizers and the substitution of water-prudent crops by water-thirsty ones have been recipes for water famines, desertification, waterlogging, and salinization.
Droughts can be aggravated by climate change and soil moisture reduction. Drought caused by climate change—a phenomenon known as meteorological drought—is linked to rainfall failure. But even with normal rain, food production can suffer if the soil moisture retention has been eroded. In arid areas, where forests and farms are entirely dependent on the recharge of soil moisture, addition of organic matter is the only solution. Soil moisture drought occurs when organic matter necessary for moisture conservation is absent from soils. Prior to the Green Revolution, water conservation was an intrinsic part of indigenous agriculture. In the Deccan of South India, sorghum was intercropped with pulses and oilseeds to reduce evaporation. The cultures, where dwarf varieties replaced tall ones, chemical fertilizers substituted organic ones, and irrigation displaced rainfed cropping. As a result, soils were deprived of vital organic material, and soil moisture droughts became recurrent.