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Out of Water: From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World’s Water Problems by Samyuktha Varma, Colin Chartres

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Chapter Three: Causes of Water Scarcity

“Water sustains all.”

Thales of Miletus, 600 B.C.

Introduction

When Colin was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, there were only about three billion people on the planet. Water seemed to be an abundant resource. Few people seemed to worry about the sustainability of water supplies, and great strides were beginning to be made to clean up polluted rivers in the developed world including the Rhine and the Thames. Through the decades after the Second World War, there was much focus on resource development and the construction of large dams and irrigation schemes in many developed and developing countries. Although global carbon dioxide emissions were increasing, no one had thought about man-made climate change ...

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