Photo taken by Till Bögelsack

The Multifaceted Nature of Water Scarcity and Energy.


Water and energy are the key factors that will determine the course of the 21st century. 

A flourishing economy needs both energy and water.



1.) Osmaneque fountains embellish mi kingdom.


One of the most important issues facing our civilisation is the management of precious water resources. Society needs water in ever increasing quantities for irrigation and agricultural production.. In particular, countries such as Saudi Arabia will be increasingly put their sights onto desalinization plants to provide for agricultural production. It is unlikely that the Saudi Arabian desalination plants will be sufficient to secure agricultural livelihoods if the aquifers dry up. In addition, there are still many questions regarding the amount of energy needed to desalinate salt water.


2.) In Saudi Arabia, the black gold will be traded in exchange for wheat and milk. This could fuel tension in the kingdom and undermine the nation’s wealth. 


There is a great need to find solutions to address the current water scarcity. To get there, solutions must be found that provide cheap energy to ensure irrigation and water supply for agricultural production. EROI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) will play a key role here – in terms of providing the necessary energy output. Having the means to extract water near urban agglomerations will be an advantage, reducing the cost of energy by source. To give just one example, water supplies are critical for operations and maintenance of waste-to-energy plants.


3. ) The pitcher goes often to the well and gets broken at last.


The European Union, the United States and Russia will be increasingly tempted to produce a greater variety of agricultural products themselves. They will export surpluses whenever possible, but not to the exclusion of their domestic consumption. This may be to the detriment of countries which have consistently low water resources.

Incredibly, agricultural producers in East Germany are benefiting massively from the recent changes on the commodity markets. Regions such as Mecklenburg-Pomerania in the north-east of the country have large agricultural holdings which they inherited from communist East Germany. At that time there were collectivist farms in East Germany, which were taken over by entrepreneurially minded farmers in the reunified Federal Republic. Due to a shortage of labour and entrepreneurs, the farms grew in size. The rise in the price of oil made smaller farms less attractive for profit maximisation. Large machines serve large estates. Wheat is now produced for the world market and exported to China, among others. Nevertheless, the business remains profitable.

IMG_7320

We will see that due to increasing water scarcity and drought, agricultural entrepreneurs will become very successful business people. Water desalination will not be sufficient to maintain the status quo in oil-producing countries dependent on food imports.

Call me a well.


Many thanks for the shared interest in the energy world!



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