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When The Well Runs Dry: The Water Scarcity Issue & How We Can All Help

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“We cannot command nature except by obeying her.” – Francis Bacon

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With the fracking boom that has swept many parts of the world using vast quantities of water, it is worth considering the importance water plays within both society and the agricultural system. 97% of the water on the Earth is salt water and only 3% is fresh water; with slightly over two thirds of this being frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining unfrozen freshwater is found mainly as groundwater, with only a small fraction present above ground or in the air.

Groundwater Is Decreasing

Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world’s supply of groundwater is steadily decreasing. With depletion occurring most prominently in Asia and North America, it is still unclear how much natural renewal balances this usage, and whether or not ecosystems are threatened. (1)(2)(3)

Scores of countries are over pumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy their growing water needs. Most aquifers are replenishable but some are not. For example, when aquifers in India and the shallow aquifer under the North China Plain are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping will be automatically reduced to the rate of recharge. But for fossil aquifers, like the Saudi aquifer, the vast Ogallala aquifer under the U.S. Great Plains, or the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, depletion brings pumping to an end.

Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning to lower-yield dry land farming if rainfall permits. But in more arid regions, such as in the southwestern United States and parts of the Middle East, the loss of irrigation water means the end of agriculture.

Falling water tables are already adversely affecting harvests in some larger countries, including China, which rivals the United States as the world’s largest grain producer. A groundwater survey released in Beijing in August 2001 revealed that the water table under the North China Plain, an area that produces over half of the country’s wheat and a third of its corn, was falling fast. Over pumping has largely depleted the shallow aquifer, forcing well drillers to  turn to the region’s deep aquifer, which is not replenishable.

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Shortages Around The World

As serious as water shortages are in China, they are even more serious in India, where the margin between food consumption and survival is so precarious. To date, India’s 100 million farmers have drilled more than 21 million wells, investing some $12 billion in wells and pumps. In August 2004 Fred Pearce reported in New Scientist that “half of India’s traditional hand dug wells and millions of shallower tube wells have already dried up, bringing a spate of suicides among those who rely on them. Electricity blackouts are reaching epidemic proportions in states where half of the electricity is used to pump water from depths of up to a kilometer.” As water tables fall, well drillers are using modified oil-drilling technology to reach water, going down a half mile or more in some locations. In communities where underground water sources have dried up entirely, all agriculture is now rain-fed and drinking water must be trucked in. Tushaar Shah, who heads the International Water Management Institute’s groundwater station in Gujarat, says of India’s water situation, “When the balloon bursts, untold anarchy will be the lot of rural India.”(4)

Large scale agriculture and the irrigation of land, crops and the grazing of livestock is by far the biggest user of water. In developed countries such as North America and Europe, the average per capita domestic usage of water ranges from around 350 to 550 litres per day. In less developed countries per capita usage ranges from around 10 to 75 litres per day, significantly less than its richer counterparts. Not only are we ‘consuming’ large quantities of water on a daily basis, we also consume vast quantities of water in the associated foods we eat and products we use. We can clearly see different types of food require different amounts of water to produce. It is vital that we understand the processes that go towards producing foods and the externalities that exist in doing so.

Embedded Water in Foods and Clothing

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Waterwise an independent not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation promoting water efficiency and conservation based in London, has calculated the amount of water embedded in a number of everyday beverages and foods we take for granted in the West. Embedded water is the amount of water used in the process of producing and distribution of any agricultural products. Here are some of the more common products you might encounter each day. A pint of beer (575ml) – water embedded 170 Litres, Cup of coffeewater embedded 140 litres, glass of orange juice (200ml)  – water embedded 170 litres, glass of milk (200ml) – 200 litres embedded, slice of bread 30grams – 130 litres embedded, hamburger (150grams) – 2400 litres embedded, cotton tee shirt – 500grams – 4100 litres embedded, packet of potato chips (200grams) – 185 litres embedded.

Making A Shift In The Way We Live

Moving forward it is obvious that livestock as well as cotton are clearly not efficient uses of water. Researchers, scientists and environmentalists have been advocating that if humanity is to survive in its current form, with significant populations, we must see a shift towards a vegetarian diet. It is not difficult to understand how a vegetarian diet makes sense when we look at the inputs that go towards producing various foods. At the very least we should be factoring in the opportunity cost and externalities involved in the food we produce in an effort to conserve water. While domestic water consumption is only 8%, the amount of water used to produce various foods should be taken into account and factored into any water based calculations for richer nations. The embedding of water in the foods we eat significantly increases the average household usage of water.

Apart from making conscious decisions about how we live, the way we grow food, what we eat, wear and consume, water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to protect our waterways and reduce demand for this valuable natural resource. Using less water reduces stress on the environment, infrastructure and uses significantly less energy. Our diligence and awareness is crucial in conserving water and making a difference. By initiating personal change we can reduce our impact on the environment and conserve this vital natural resource. There are a multitude of water saving devices that can positively impact the way water is used. The most effective way to save water is by eliminating unnecessary practices. Here are a few practical ideas to get started.

Natural Landscaping

“The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.”  – David Suzuki

Each plant has naturally adapted to a particular landscape and specific climatic conditions. Planting species not suited to an environment results in significantly increased water usage. Native plants, that is, those plants that occur naturally in an environment, are low maintenance and far more resilient than plant species that have been introduced. Native plants are able to thrive in specific climatic conditions, have the ability to resist pests and use minimal water when compared to introduced non-native species. Native plants require minimal or no additional watering apart from what nature offers. They are programmed to deal with the naturally occurring rainfall. The average ½ inch garden hose pumps about 9 gallons, or 34 litres per minute. So you can do the math as to how much water you will save by reducing the time spent watering plants that don’t actually need much water.

When you need to water plants here are a few tips that will make a difference in reducing your water consumption. To reduce evaporation rates, make sure you water plants when it is cooler, usually in the morning or late afternoon. Learn as much about plants and their water requirements as possible, so that you don’t unnecessarily over water them. Many plants and trees have deep roots that enable the plant to sustain themselves for several weeks without being watered. Another great way to reduce evaporation rates is to place a layer of mulch around trees, plants and vegetable gardens as this significantly reduces watering and evaporation rates.

Watering Lawns!

“When the well runs dry, we shall know the value of water.” – Benjamin Franklin

Much of suburbia takes great pride in growing and cultivating the perfect lawn. It is interesting to note that the lawn originated from Europe around the 1600’s. The cool mild, climate of Europe was conducive to grasses and various ground covers. The earliest lawns and grasses had practical applications and were used in and around medieval castles in Britain and France. The low ground cover provided guards and watchmen an unobstructed view of any approaching danger. The practical application of being able to ward off hostile enemies does not practically translate into the current western culture.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reports that landscaping and the maintenance of lawn, account for approximately 30% of all water use in the United States. Considering that lawns serve no practical purpose and are purely aesthetic in nature, it seems extravagant that such a precious resource is wasted on a hangover from the 16th century. With the increasing cost of transport and rising food prices it seems like a perfect time to reduce our lawns and start investing and or propagating native plants, fruit and nut trees, vegetables and other edible plants. Trees have much deeper root systems so don’t need as much watering, plus have the advantage of providing nutrient dense foods. If you do need to have lawn then here are some handy tips for minimising the use of water.

  • Water your lawn only when needed, most lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days.
  • Let the lawn grow. Having longer grass gives the lawn a chance to seed and protects the roots from drying out. A healthy lawn should be at least two to three inches in length.
  • Choose shrubs and ground covers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips. Don’t water your lawn on windy days as most of the water blows away or evaporates.
  • To determine whether your lawn needs watering or not use this simple method as a test. Walk on the grass. If the lawn springs back up when you move, then it doesn’t need watering. If it flattens out and doesn’t rebound then the lawn needs some water.
  • Grasses, lawn and other organic materials are great for building soil composition and provide nutrients and fertiliser for gardens.

Some Practical Tips for Conserving Water Around the Home

There are hundreds if not thousands of different ways to save water, from efficient capture of rainwater in tanks, water saving devices, drip irrigation, through to simply being conscious about water usage. Here are a few basic tips to help save water around the home which may stimulate some ideas and help further your research on the subject.

Check for leaky faucets around home.    Use half flush system on toilets.    Take shorter showers.     Add less water to the bathtub.    If you have a pool put a cover on it when not in use.   Turn off water when brushing your teeth.     Water plants in the morning or evening.     Install a water tank.    Use a broom as opposed to a hose for cleaning outside surfaces.   Wash your car with a bucket.   Install faucet aerators.   Don’t defrost food using running water.  Wash up the old fashioned way by hand.   If using a dishwasher only use when it is completely fullInstall low flow shower heads.   Only wash clothes when the washing machine is full.   Reduce the amount of lawn in your backyard  Plant native plant species.    Spread a layer of organic mulch around plants. Grow your own food.   Eat less Meat.   Only purchase sustainably locally sourced products……

Remember every time you use water to be aware of how precious and scarce it actually is. In some countries people get by with as little as ten litres a day! So think about how you use water and the impacts of what you eat do and consumer have on this precious resource.

Article by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing  and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

CoverONENOVSources

Excerpts from One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

(1) Earth’s water distribution”. United States Geological Survey.

(2) Scientific Facts on Water: State of the Resource”. GreenFacts Website.

(3) Gleeson, Tom; Wada, Yoshihide; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; van Beek, Ludovicus P. H. (9 August 2012). “Water balance of global aquifers revealed by groundwater footprint”. Nature (488): 197–200.

(4) http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/book_files/pb4book.pdf

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Highest Court In South Africa Legalizes Cannabis Use

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    South Africa has now legalized the use of cannabis for adults, but only in private places. The law also allows citizens to grow their own for personal consumption as well.

  • Reflect On:

    Times are changing, this may be a small victory in natural freedom, but it just goes to show that the people do have power.

Just a few short years ago the pursuit to legalize cannabis seemed futile at best, now it feels like just a matter of time before the majority of the world jumps on board! Most recently, South Africa’s highest court has legalized the use of cannabis by adults in private places only.

After a unanimous ruling, pro marijuana activists cheered in the public gallery chanting, “Weed are free now!” Judges also legalized the growing of marijuana for private consumption.

The government of South Africa had opposed the legalization arguing that the drug was harmful to people’s health. The Constitutional Court, however declared the law that criminalized the use of cannabis in the first place, unconstitutional and invalid and gave the government 24 months to come up with a new set of laws that respected South African’s right to privacy “in their private spheres.” It will no longer be a “criminal offence for an adult person to be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption.” It will however, still be illegal to use the drug in public places, sell it or supply it.

Prior to this ruling the laws regarding cannabis use were strict and could result in 15 years in prison and up to 25 years for selling it.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said, “It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption.”

Rastafarians rejoiced outside the court hall celebrating the huge success.

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Things Are Changing, And Fast

As more awareness continues to grow, we are seeing just how powerful the people really are by coming together and doing what they can to make a difference in the world. When compared to a substance like alcohol that is addictive, harmful, can cause rage and depression and often comes at a great cost to the user and their family, it really makes little sense as to why there would still be any prohibition on the use of cannabis. It seems as though the courts are starting to agree, and seeing why really, it makes little sense to ban the use of cannabis and send people to jail for it — now really, that’s just absurd.

As mentioned above, what once may have seemed impossible is now proving to be very possible in fact. This is just another reminder that we the people do have a say, and if there are aspects of our society that don’t align with our values, or don’t make any sense, we can do our part by speaking up and working towards changing them. Things aren’t always as concrete as they may appear, this is a great example of why we should never give up hope.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

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Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Where Does Donald Trump REALLY Stand On Syria?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Recently, Democratic Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard lashed out against Trump for his rhetoric and policy in Syria that is the polar opposite of what he ascribed to in their meeting on Syria less than two years ago.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it possible that this whole Syria drama is playing out for the sake of awakening people to the larger reality behind these events?

In 2016, Democratic Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard met with Donald Trump to discuss Syria policy at a private meeting at Trump Tower in November, just ahead of then president-elect Trump being sworn into office. At the time the two appeared to be in complete agreement over Syria policy. Gabbard said this after the meeting:

“I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the President-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government—a war which has already cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions of refugees to flee their homes in search of safety for themselves and their families.”

The following summer President Trump allegedly shut down the CIA’s clandestine efforts for overthrowing the Damascus government, a covert program called ‘Timber Sycamore’, after reports said he was increasingly disturbed by the brutal and jihadist nature of the armed opposition. All the way up until April 2018, he had appeared to be pushing toward withdrawing the over 2,000 US troops from Syria, against which advisers and neocon warmongers vehemently pushed back. Trump had proposed,

“Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out. We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”

But that was then. Today, Trump’s stance has changed. Or has it?

Responding To Chemical Weapons False Flag

We all know what happened next. Just days after Trump’s statement touting the withdrawal of American troops, video emerged from Idlib purporting to show an Assad sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, to which Trump responded with a brief Tomahawk missile strike on a largely abandoned Syrian military airport in the center of the country. Trump launched an even bigger attack on Damascus the following April following more unverified opposition claims of another gas attack.

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Now, I would bet my bottom dollar that Trump knows very well that those two alleged chemical attacks were orchestrated false flags in order to promote a military response against Syria. If this is the case, then why would he have authorized the attacks, and why did he recently issue a warning against Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces against attacking al-Qaeda forces in Idlib?

Tulsi Gabbard Calls Out Trump

The way Tulsi Gabbard sees it, there are two reasons, which she elaborated upon in this video:

“One is because, if you look back over the last couple of years, the two times that President Trump has received vast positive reinforcement from the mainstream media, from Democratic leaders. from Republican leaders, have been the two times he has launched military attacks against Syria. His poll numbers are dropping. So he’s looking with a political calculation of what’s the thing that I know will make it so that people are saying nice things about me again?

The second reason is because there’s been this long, slow regime change war happening in Syria, we’ve been waging this long war since 2011, and the main ground force in that war has been al-Qaeda, and these other Jihadist terrorist groups. And so there have been both direct and indirect support of these groups fighting on the ground, to overthrow this regime, and, so their concerned that if these terrorist groups like al-Qaeda are taken out in Idlib, what happens to the ground force fighting to overthrow the Syrian government? And this leads us to the United States alliance with Saudi Arabia, who would like to see a Wahabi extremist government replace the government that’s in Syria.”

A couple of days after commemorative speeches about 9/11 were presented by the Trump administration, Ms. Gabbard took the opportunity to contrast the rhetoric in those speeches with the current position of the administration on Syria, using the full minute afforded general speeches in the House of Representatives:

Are They Just Role-Playing?

A speech like that seems to me to be addressed not to Congress, not to Donald Trump, but rather to the public in general, to wake up and realize that all that’s going on is pure theatre, and that without the public waking up none of us can move forward. Bringing up the specter of “Al-Qaeda”, which seems to be the tried and true boogeyman of terrorism that everyone recognizes, is one clue. The suggestion the 9/11 was the fault of al-Qaeda is another. It seems like there is a need to wake people up with a narrative that has some familiarity, in order not to shock them.

Do we really think Donald Trump is a supporter of Jihadi groups trying to unseat Syrian president Bashar al-Assad? Of course not. His reasonable stance on withdrawing from Syria up until April of this year seems to be how he sincerely feels, but for some reason those feelings have to be shelved for the moment. Indeed, he has limitations in terms of what his ‘character’ in this drama is allowed to say. Notice these two almost contradictory remarks about the Syria situation that came out within a few days of each other:

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You will note that while the first tweet condemning radical Jihadis garnered a little over 4K likes, his condemnation of Syria, Iran and Russia got almost 72K likes. In a way, this might actually explain why he has turned against Russia and Syria of late. Does he need to reconnect to his base and those who still believe the full weight of the Russia-is-bad narrative? Tulsi Gabbard alluded to his poll numbers; one has to wonder if there are deeper reasons why a president’s popularity is an important aspect of his ability to get things done. The other theory one might hold is that he is under blackmail pressure from the Rothschilds and the Deep State. He goes ahead and unleashes fiery rhetoric against Assad, but then his retaliatory missile attack barely does any harm.

One way or another, the inconsistency and contradictions in Trump’s words and actions must be more than the vicissitudes of a bombastic blowhard. I think there is a method to the madness, though a method whose logic is currently difficult to pin down.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Real Life Hero: One Man Rescued 64 Dogs & Cats From Hurricane Florence In A School Bus

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In the wake of Hurricane Florence many pets were left behind. Thanks to a real life hero, Tony Alsup, the lives of dozens of animals were saved.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you deeply inspired to assist those in need, whatever that may look like to you? If you are not taking action now, how can you begin taking action on that inspiration?

After officials announced their stern clear message to people living in the coastal towns of North Carolina, Leave, Now. “You put your life at risk by staying, don’t plan to leave once the rain and winds start.” More than 1 million people were told to leave. Unfortunately because of the rush and severity of the incoming storm many people panicked and left their pets behind.

Shelters across the southeastern coast have been struggling to make room for an influx of pets that have been dropped off. Thankfully, there are some real life heroes out there and because of these compassionate and courageous people the lives of dozens of abandoned animals will be saved and have the chance to find a new home.

Last week, a couple from North Carolina rescued around 20 pets from shelters in their “fluffy bus,” and a truck driver, Tony Alsup loaded up 64 cats and dogs in his school bus, eventually driving them towards safety, outside the hurricane warning zone.

“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup told the Greenville News. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”

Greenville News reported that the animal lover from Tennessee spent $3,200 on a school bus to collect all of the sheltered pet’s from disaster zones across the country. Several days before Hurricane Florence hit, Alsup drove through South Carolina and collected 53 dogs and 11 cats into the bus from various shelters across the state. He drove them to a private dog shelter in Alabama where many were adopted, others were sent to other adoption centers across the states who had a little room to spare for the un-adopted animals.

Pets Often Get Left Behind

It’s unfortunate, but in the days before a hurricane, pet shelters begin to fill up and government run shelters in some jurisdictions are not allowed to turn away new animals, but this sometimes means that they have to put down other animals to make space for the new ones. People become frantic and don’t know what to do with their pets, so they drop them off at shelters, even though there is little that these shelters can do to rescue all of these animals from disasters such as hurricanes.

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Some of the animals of South Carolina were truly blessed to have good samaritans like Alsup swoop in to save their lives. He aims to head back down to Wilmington North Carolina, an area where the flooding has caused road closures in order to save even more animals in need.

“Animals—especially shelter pets—they always have to take the back seat of the bus,” Alsup told the Post. “But I’ll give them their own bus. If I have to I’ll pay for all the fuel, or even a boat, to get these dogs out of there.”

Isn’t it amazing to see people performing such selfless acts to save the lives of those in need? Way to go Tony for your continued efforts to save the lives of countless animals. May he be an inspiration to us all to do what we can in times of need.

You can follow Alsup’s journey on Facebook and donate to his gas and upkeep funds through his Paypal.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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