Europe has very important water resources, the supply of water until now has never been a problem except in temporary climatic periods that have led to undermining the water reserves of aquifers, rivers and lakes. However, these periods are becoming more and more frequent, threatening aquifers as well as rivers and lakes that are increasingly drying.
Experts say that the main fault consists of periodic climatic mutations, we are entering a “hot” cycle that is the cause of melting of glaciers around the world, of the Poles, of the evaporation of waterways.
Only part of the evaporation is re-condensed in the sky and returns in the form of increasingly frequent storms and hurricanes, the rest disappears under the action of ultraviolet rays and the increasingly high global temperature.
To the natural causes, then, we add the hand of human and increase the dose: greenhouse effect, hole in the ozone layer, indiscriminate use of water energy, both in the industrial and in the agri-food field, in energy consumption and indiscriminate abuse in the domestic environment.
It is true that in the Western world the water consumption of a family of four has increased by an average of 600% over the last 50 years regardless of the fact that we increase by about a billion units every 25 years.
But perhaps few people know that to get only a liter of milk, in the entire production chain serve over 1,000 liters of water, as well as to produce a kg of pasta, serve about 1,800 (look for: water footprint). Each of us in the West, between food, energy use, hygiene, domestic consumption, irrigation and anything else have a total daily requirement of about 4,000 liters of water!! (sources: Water Footprint Network).
And how not to ask questions when we know that, for example, to allow us to watch a streaming football match, it takes about 1,000 liters of water. Let’s imagine how much energy it takes to satisfy all the demands of the Network, although an increasingly large part of water is reused.
In short, fresh water is becoming a resource with a high environmental risk and it is for this reason that further improvements in desalination techniques are being successfully studied, in order to take advantage of the water of the seas and oceans.
Interestingly enough, while in the Western world we are witnessing the consumption and waste of water in all fields, in the rest of the planet more than half of the world’s population is dealing with the scarcity of water, with the lack of drinking water, even with thirst and hunger due to drought that limits crops.
But the Western world is projected into the future, no longer only through the aerospace agencies of the great superpowers, now also thanks to competitive tycoons that finance companies to bring human being into space.
But the basis of all this comings and goings in space is only one: the search for water. A new era is beginning. In the West we do not look so much at famine, thirst and hunger, as at progress. We are going in search of those planets that can guarantee us humans a sort of colonization for a future, we go in search of other sources of water in space, not only to determine the existence of other forms of life.
The most far-sighted scientists have long been sounding the alarm: water is beginning to run out, in hundred years’ time it will perhaps no longer be enough for us and we Westerners are now too accustomed to consumerism and consequently not inclined to the policy of saving to put an effective stop to excesses.
That is the paradox. Right now, when we have achieved everything possible thanks to the exploitation of water, we realize that it may soon be in short supply and may fail. Right now, after millennia of contradictions and undivided culture, that we have learned and accepted the best ways to use and love more and more this wonderful and vital resource, we are wondering if tomorrow we will still be able to use it so freely.