Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Water (and it ain't about the flood)

This may be difficult to digest for some of us Indonesians who are regularly flooded every rainy season: We are looking at a global water shortage.

Many of the world's big rivers (China's Yellow river, Germany's Elbe, America's Rio Grande) no longer reach the sea [1]. According to the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, "urgent action is needed if we are to avoid a global water crisis".

OK. But then, what can we little people do about it, really? Other than using water sparingly?

Interestingly enough, us saving water may not help much: Water consumption for domestic use only accounts for a tenth of the world's total. So who's been using a lot of water? Industry? Industry consumes 'only' a fifth.

What then? Our food! 70% of water usage is consumed to produce our food. Read this: to produce 1 kg of wheat requires 1000 litre of water. A lot you said? Then how about this: to produce 1 kg of beef, it takes a whopping 15.000 litre of water [3].

The growing population will push the demand for food even higher, and as living standard in the developing world (such as ours) improves, our diet shifts and we will start to eat more meat.

In China for example, in 1985 the people there on average ate 20kg of meat. This year, it would be 50kg (which will require 390 kilometer cubic of water - equal to total water use in Europe!) [3].

So we can help preserve water by eating more vegetables and less meat.

Why not? It's healthier too!

[1] The Independent - Rivers: a drying shame
[2] Water in a changing world, The United Nations World Water Development Report 3, hal 106
[3] The Economist, April 11th-17th 2009, Hal 54, Water: Sin aqua non

Versi Bahasa Indonesia, klik di sini.


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