Oooh, goodie, something else to worry about.
A swelling global population, changing diets and mankind\’s expanding “water footprint” could be bringing an end to the era of cheap water.
The warnings, in an annual report by the Pacific Institute in California, come as ecologists have begun adopting the term “peak ecological water” — the point where, like the concept of “peak oil”, the world has to confront a natural limit on something once considered virtually infinite.
The world is in danger of running out of “sustainably managed water”, according to Peter Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute and a leading authority on global freshwater resources.
Fortunately we know how to handle this problem. It\’s our old friend, Tragedy of the Commons once again. We have a resource which could be happily managed on a Marxian basis, open access for all. Now demand for that resource has risen and thus we need to place limits on access to it.
Great. So, allocate property rights to the resource and thus allow people to charge for use of it.
Note that this can be publicly owned or privately, it\’s not so much who owns the property rights as that someone starts charging and a market is created in access to the resource.