This, briefly, follows on from my placeholder about “hydro-diplomacy” or “water wars.”
Look at this graphic …
… it is from the March/April 2015 edition of the MIT Technology Review, from an article about Israel’s Sorek desalinization plant which was, two years ago, the largest in the world. “Worldwide,” the MIT article says, “some 700 million people don’t have access to enough clean water. In 10 years the number is expected to explode to 1.8 billion. In many places, squeezing fresh water from the ocean might be the only viable way to increase the supply.“
Another article says that “This largest clean water plant [in the world] in Ras Alkhair in Saudi Arabia, is based on reverse osmosis desalination …[and] … The installation has started since 2014 and is supplying 1 million cubic meters of drinking water every day … [but] … It uses 2400 MW of power for the desalination processes.” This points up one of the major problems with desalinization: high energy use. But, the MIT article (linked above) says that, thanks to world beating design and technology, Israel’s Sorek plant’s “energy consumption is among the lowest in the world for large-scale desalination plants.” Desalinization is already popular in e.g. Singapore, California and Australia but, look, again at that map, can it be made affordable for say Sudan, Chad and Algeria?
Desalinization coupled with massive water reuse projects, turning brackish and waste water into water that can be used for irrigation and even drinking might be the best “peacekeeping” that Western countries can do.
If we, Canadians, really want to help bring peace to a troubled world maybe we should start by ignoring the inept and corrupt United Nations and the problematic United States and teaming, instead, with, say, Australia, Britain, Israel, New Zealand and Singapore and offering a potent mix of clean enough, fresh water and good governance models to poor, failing states in Africa. We can provide very, very limited military and police training support to help with internal security and counter-insurgency ~ because foreigners will never, in my opinion, bring real peace to those countries, and focus, mainly, on helping people to succeed and prosper in their own homelands ~ reducing, concomitantly, the flow of refugees and migrants.