July 27, 2005

Hot and Dry?

In graduate school, one of my colleagues insisted that water would be the "new oil" in the future of IR, the scarce resource that causes conflict, negotiation, and global action. Here's a piece that talks about the science of mapping water. It turns out that water molecules have fingerprints, and these can be used to trace the path of water, leading to better management:

For instance, if the method reveals that the water in a well is young and recently derived from rain, villagers can pump away vigorously. But if it turns out to be very old - what scientists call fossil water - they need to move gingerly, taking care not to exhaust the water supply.

Like any technology, this also has the potential for divisions, in the way that the Northwest and California have fought over whose water it is. An interesting bit of science, regardless, and confirmation of my friend's ideas.

Posted by binky at July 27, 2005 10:05 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Science

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