Danny Tyree, 4/8/2015 [Archive]

The Looming Water Crisis: Cry Me A River (Please!)

Tyrades!By Danny Tyree

All day I faced the barren wastes without the taste of water... - The Sons of the Pioneers

In case you missed it while washing the car, watering the lawn or taking a long shower, the recent United Nations World Water Development Report extrapolates current trends and predicts that the world's water supply will fall 40 percent short of water needs in a mere 15 years.

U.N. officials have publicized the report because water shortages could be devastating to agriculture, ecosystems, economies, health and — most importantly — the wet T-shirt contests they research while in New York City flaunting diplomatic immunity.

The hardest-hit areas would be sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia; but closer to home, a separate NASA Observatory analysis indicates that by the end of the century, the worst drought in 1,000 years could hit the Great Plains and southwestern United States.

And of course we've heard of the mandatory water restrictions and other emergency measures in drought-stricken California. But long-term hope springs eternal. Desalination plants cost a fortune, but just a few of them could provide practically limitless fresh water — and nearly enough salt for the snacks at one Super Bowl party.

The U.N. says many factors have contributed to the global problem, but unchecked population growth is cited as the main culprit.Let me get this straight: the best way to save water is to encourage MORE COLD SHOWERS. Only in Am...well, only on planet earth.

I know I've been luckier than most, but I have had a little experience with water issues. For 16 years my "day job" has involved working at a farmers cooperative, so I know of the effect of inadequate rainfall on crops and pasture. And during the winter of '94, my wife and I had running water only one day out of a 15-day period (thanks to frozen pipes and —after a one-day reprieve -- a downed power line that idled the pump at the spring). Thank goodness we were able to keep some modicum of romance in our lives. ("How do I love thee? Let me count the deodorants.")

Water shortages will be an annoyance to some, a catastrophe for others — and a financial bonanza for the lucky few.For instance, makers of veterinary anti-nausea medicines. Because all those water-skiing squirrel videos will soon feature hapless squirrels riding tumbling tumbleweeds.

It will take a lot to get people to take this issue seriously. For one thing, folks have faith in American ingenuity. They assume technology will take care of the problem. You know, like a super-hero exoskeleton capable of KICKING THE CAN FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD!

If we don't get a handle on this situation now, we will live in a frightening new world. People will sit around the campfire singing, "Michael, Drag The Boat Ashore." Youngsters in swimming trunks will replace "Cannonball!" with cries of "Tentative toe dip!!!" Right-wing talk-show hosts will rant about "redistribution of perspiration." Philosophers will ask, "Is the glass half-empty or...half-way to the next county after armed robbers hijacked it???"

Research the issue. Start out with some relatively painless ways to conserve. Really, in a hundred years, who is going to care if you had the lushest lawn on the whole &^%$# block?

Well, okay, maybe Betty White. But she'll be too busy procuring bootleg water for a wet T-shirt contest to say anything.

——-

© 2015 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at tyreetyrades@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.



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