Monday, February 12, 2007
China's Getting Thirsty
We're used to thinking about the geopolitical race for natural resources in terms of oil, gas, minerals and metals. But reading through this rundown of China's strategic concerns by Gideon Rachman, the foreign affairs commentator for Financial Times, what jumped out at me was what came right after "Energy": Water.
Here's a map modelling global water scarcity come 2025, and as you can see, things don't look so good for the Chinese. The northern part of the country will be in physical scarcity, meaning the actual drying up of water sources, while the south will be forced to choose between either devoting its dwindling water supplies to agricultural irrigation, or maintaining its industrial production.
Something to think about when watching the pieces on the global chessboard move from square to square.