Drought problems: not limited to hot countries

It is interesting to consider that drought problems are not restricted to hot countries such as Australia & Africa. Although Ireland has a temperate climate with precipitation levels as high as 750-1000 mm per Annam, drought issues are working their way in to the public agenda with the prediction that in our capital city could face acute water shortages in the 40-50 years. This is difficult to comprehend since it rains so continuously throughout the year but it really reflects the ineffective and inefficient use and harnessing of water in modern society. It also reflects the recklessness of the way our consumer driven society abuses natural resources and takes for granted resources just because they are considered “renewable”. It is a good example of how the concept of Comprehensive Effeciency Ratio could be enacted to produce tangible and beneficial results in the future to prevent future water issues occuring (In Ireland at least!) For further reading on Irelands pending water crisis please see: http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0822/water.html

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Posted in water
5 comments on “Drought problems: not limited to hot countries
  1. carolmanley says:

    An example of how drought is affecting Ireland is the controversial scheme which involves the extraction of drinking water from the River Shannon in the West of Ireland to supply the growing population of Dublin .

    For the past few years Dublin has been running out of water as its resevoir in Co.Wicklow cannot cope with the growing demand of the population of Dublin and its sprawling suburbs.

    The Dublin city council states that a new water source for the Dublin Region has to be viable and sustainable. They said that a new source cannot be to the detriment of any other area, including the River Shannon and its catchment or any other of the 10 options being studied, and that they are confident that such a solution will be found

    For further information see



  2. jianzhou says:

    In fact, China is facing the same problem as Ireland. Chinese government decided to build a canal to take water in the water rich region- the south of China to the northern part of China.

    I found more information on Dublin water project :


  3. jianzhou says:

    Athough Sustainalbe water source for Dublin is critical, this is only on the supply side of the equation. Sustainable consumption addresses the demand side, looking at how the water is consumed in Dublin and find out how to reduce the waste and minimize or optimize the water demand is very important too. Even if Dublin has a good water supply from the sources identified by Dublin city council, the sustainable consumption should not be neglected. Otherwise the water will be depleted quickly.

    As mentioned by Dr. Emil Salim, “Sustainable consumption implies that the consumption of current generations as well as future generations improves in quality. Such a concept of consumption requires the optimalization of consumption subject to maintaining services and quality of resources and the environment over time.”

    Dr. Emil Salim, The challenge of sustainable consumption as seen from the South. In Symposium: Sustainable Consumption. Oslo, Norway; 19-20 January 1994.

  4. egitman says:

    As we also read on our reading materials that the potential date for the end of oil reserves in the world (based on current consumption) is around 2050. But many people believe that a crisis much bigger is likely to loom on water resources and this may be at a sooner date. Countries such as Canada, despite its strong resources, has already started feeling the heat for the threats to its water resources :


    It is also enlightening to have the following overall look at the larger picture :


  5. jeremy says:

    As I think I mentioned in class, the looming crisis over access to water supplies could present geopolitical challenges in the future. This is not to imply that there are not challenges right now, but as someone pointed out, water shortages have not been as acute in the economically powerful countries yet. In summary, would certainly concur that this is one area where ecological economic efficiency is sadly lacking (in all its dimensions).

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