It's not just the Third World this time. The U.S. and Europe are in the same boat. A global study has found the world's rivers are so badly affected by human activity to threaten the water security of almost five billion people. That's five billion out of the 6.7-billion people currently on the planet. From The Guardian:
The study, conducted by institutions across the globe, is the first to simultaneously look at all types of human intervention on freshwater – from dams and reservoirs to irrigation and pollution. It paints a devastating picture of a world whose rivers are in serious decline.
While developing countries are suffering from threats to both water security and biodiversity, particularly in Africa and central Asia, the authors were surprised by the level of threat posed to wildlife in rich countries.
"What made our jaws drop is that some of the highest threat levels in the world are in the United States and Europe," said Prof Peter McIntyre, one of the lead authors, who began the project as a Smith Fellow at the University of Michigan.
Canada is much better off than most countries but we don't deserve any credit for our good fortune. As Maude Barlow points out in Blue Covenant:
"A leaked 2005 Environment Canada assessment of the state of Canada's water for then environment minister Stephane Dion was a scathing indictment of the government's water policies. 'Clean, Safe and Secure Water: The Need for Federal Leadership,' meant only for the minister's eyes, said that a water crisis in Canada was looming, but that no one is in charge."
Unfortunately, we've entrusted the security of our own fresh water to the petro-pols of Parliament Hill, a gaggle of misfits, morons and slackers. The hard part is that the Tories are only marginally worse than the Liberals in protecting the country and our people.