Water is fundamental for the existence of humans and many other species on Earth. The fact that we are going into a state of emergency in this matter slowly but at a steady pace is no news for most of us. So, why is it that human beings continue to prioritize other resources instead of drinkable water? Read on an find out why are oil developments bad for water availability in the world.
The Texas Example
Texas is the state with the most abundant production of crude oil in The United States of America. Since its discovery in 1901, big oiling companies have never stopped drilling the soil to get more and more out of it. Approximately 75 percent of the state contains underground reservoirs of oil that can be extracted by directly drilling on the ground. Out of the 254 counties, 218 have oil resources under people´s feet.
Historically, Texas has always had great aquifers too, with the slight difference that water is not as highly paid or as expensive as oil, yet. Most of the drillings and the oil extraction process involve the usage of large amounts of water that come straight from Texas reservoirs. Moreover, the drilling that goes beyond the groundwater causing a devastating pollution effect that leaves it undrinkable for humans. This is not as alarming as knowing that drilling still takes place in Texas will continue to happen and also, draught has been taken over the panorama.
Adding one more thing to an already dangerous situation, 99 percent of the water that Texas population consumes is groundwater. 80 percent of the groundwater reservoir goes to agriculture means such as irrigation. Groundwater is pumped out to satisfy the needs of the agro and the oil industry and there is a draught in the zone that stops the water cycle. Groundwater is taken out of the ground with no control; there is no rain to replenish it and all the population in the area drink from it. Doing just a little math and foretelling, we can tell that the word disaster is not far from Texans these days.
The Middle East Example
The Middle East is the richest regions of Earth in terms of oil reservoirs. Most of us know or have heard of the multimillionaire Sheiks and their golden cars that oil paid for them. What most of us are not aware of is that water has become an issue in this region too. The overconsumption of water due to the extraction of oil, the boom of agriculture and the raise in population has left the Iran and United Arab Emirates people in the verge of despair. According to the words Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is the General Sheikh: “For us, water is [now] more important than oil.”
The severity of the Middle Eastern example is that some of the areas of the country have been turned into a desert because of water over-extraction and overuse. This exaggerated consumption of the resource is coupled with the lack of rainfall due to the changes in the landscape including rivers, lakes and some broad sections of the countryside. When an area is turned into a desert, the living ecosystem in it is condemned to disappear. Without water, the flora and fauna that one time ruled the region is forced to emigrate or perish under the powerful sun and the lack of water and other resources. Alarm has been triggered in this area too.
Human beings have not yet learnt to drink oil or eat money, but that seems to be the only way that the world moves. The desertification of a certain area, the lack of drinkable water, the diseases, the famine, the changes in landscapes, flora and fauna are not enough to raise a global alarm that would change the direction of the world. Will human kind end up destroying this beautiful planet or will Earth recover from the wrong decisions, bad policies and infinite greed that human kind has put it through? If there is a time to take the wheel and change the direction of the Titanic before hitting the (melting) iceberg, that time is now.