The Supply and Technology Exist to Solve the Global Fresh Water Crisis But Are the People Willing?

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Bio Logic Aqua founder and water entrepreneur Sharon Kleyne interviews Water Finance author, Neil Grigg, PhD.

The world’s fresh water supply is large enough, and the technology is advanced enough, to solve the growing global fresh water supply crisis. Far less hopeful, according to water entrepreneur and founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, Sharon Kleyne, and author Neil Grigg, PhD., is the willingness of our leaders to commit, cooperate and compromise.

Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio-Logic Aqua Research, a global water company specializing in fresh water, health and dehydration research and product development. As part of her personal commitment to helping solve the global fresh water supply crisis, Kleyne hosts the syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes.

Neil Grigg, PhD, is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado, and former Director of the CSU Water Resource Research Institute. Grigg is author of Water Finance (Wiley, 2011). Sharon Kleyne interviewed Dr. Grigg on her radio podcast of August 5, 2013.

The global fresh water supply crisis, according to Dr. Grigg, is widespread and highly complex. It is caused by a rapidly growing Earth population, a diminishing fresh water supply due to pollution and drought, a desperate need for an improved fresh water supply infrastructure, and generations of mismanagement and greed.

Delay in solving the crisis, says Kleyne, is creating unnecessary water shortages and countless water wars, hindered economic development and cost many lives. Worldwide, according to, one billion people lack access to safe fresh water and 200 million hours each day are spent collecting fresh water. Even in the United States, says Dr. Grigg, the outlook is not good. Many long established fresh water sources, such as the Colorado River, are now threatened. According to Kleyne and Dr. Grigg, a safe and reliable water supply is essential to all economic growth everywhere.

The good news, according to Dr. Grigg, is that there is no shortage of engineering technology to deliver, purify, reclaim, impound, store and even desalinate water. Kleyne points to the Nation of Singapore, which despite a large mostly urban population and very little land, has achieved fresh water independence.

Far less hopeful, according to Dr. Grigg, is human nature, which tends to be self-centered and short sighted. Solving the global fresh water supply crisis, says Grigg, or even a small local water shortage, requires a group effort, commitment on both sides, compromise and innovative problem solving.

Dr. Grigg points to Singapore and the Netherlands as nations whose citizens made the commitment to worked together to solve their water problems.

In the 1500’s, Grigg explained, to manage their fresh water supply, prevent floods and reclaim land, the Dutch formed a series of local citizens Water Boards. These boards led directly to the Dutch democracy that made the tiny Netherlands one of the world’s most powerful countries in the 1600’s and 1700’s. The Dutch model of several small states forming a larger nation was one of the bases for the United States constitution.    

According to Dr. Grigg, in his experience, people tend not to act on something until it becomes a crisis. Since most people – especially governments – tend to be interested in the moment, news of an impending crisis is too often ignored. The challenge is to make people understand the seriousness of the fresh water supply crisis and motivate them to act before the situation effects them personally and turns into a disaster.

This could be accomplished, Dr. Grigg and Sharon Kleyne agree. The outlook as to whether it will be accomplished remains uncertain.

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Mikaylah Roggasch
Bio Logic Aqua Research-Rogue Media
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