Don’t take water for granted
by David Zetland (originally published at The one-handed economist)
Don’t take water for granted
In his 1987 hit, “Diamonds on the soul of her shoes“, Paul Simon sings:
She said, “You’ve taken me for granted
Because I please you
Wearing these diamonds”
This lyric, although a bit paradoxical, has always resonated with me, and I’ve applied it in many “taking-for-granted” situations.
One of them concerns clean water, which most of us have certainly taken for granted, and in a way that is naive (to people who do not have access to affordable, clean water) as well as dangerous (the value of water in our lives is so high — relative to its price — that we do not think of the disastrous consequences of losing access to that water).
Well, it’s worth thinking about, as the end of abundance starts to bite into our water consuming habits.
We have less and less clean water because our actions — direct in terms of mining ground water or polluting surface water and indirect in terms of climate change and water embedded in animal products — are making it so.
And those actions rarely consider what would happen if we had no clean water — let alone no water at all.
“You’ve taken me for granted because I please you, flowing this water”
My one-handed conclusion is that a lot of people are going to be surprised and upset as “their” water disappears in volume, decays in quality and increases in cost, until we no longer take it for granted. Beware.
This is an important post, but sorely needing an example since countries such as Israel and China are restructuring entire water supply systems. Spending on the national water system in China is massive and much could be learned from the plans and efforts, just as China has learned from and contributed to Israeli efforts.
China-built largest pumped storage power plant in Israel in full swing
The China-built 344-MW Kokhav Hayarden pumped storage hydropower plant, located near the city of Beit She’an and some 120 kilometers away from Tel Aviv, is expected to be the largest pumped storage power plant in Israel when it becomes operational in early 2023.
It will also become the lowest power plant of its kind in the world, as the powerhouse lies 275 meters below sea level, according to building contractor Power Construction Corporation of China (PCCC).
Israel is eager to continue its efforts in diversifying sources of energy and developing renewable energy sources.
According to data released in 2020, renewable energy accounts for less than 7 percent of the total energy in the country. In 2022, the Israeli Ministry of Environment released a new renewable energy roadmap, targeting 40 percent of renewables in the country’s power mix by 2030.
“Pumped storage hydropower provides an economical, efficient and stable way of hydroelectric energy storage. Acting similarly to a giant battery, it can store power and then release it when needed,” explained Han Hongwei, general manager of the project….
December 30, 2022
China’s mega water diversion project starts trial operation
HEFEI — A mega water project to divert water from the Yangtze, China’s longest river, to the Huaihe River started trial operation on Friday.
The water diversion project, which is 723 km long and took six years to construct, will supply water to 15 cities in east China’s Anhui Province and central China’s Henan Province. It is expected to benefit more than 50 million people.
Friday morning also saw the start of the construction of the second phase of this mega project — with an investment of 20.41 billion yuan (about 2.93 billion U.S. dollars).
The total investment in the first phase surpassed 94.91 billion yuan.
Besides supplying water for residents and developing shipping, this project will also be used for agricultural irrigation and will help improve the ecological environment of both the Huaihe River and Chaohu Lake….