Malthusians overlook technology developments, including desalinization.
The Guardian reports:
China faces a serious conundrum. The country, already the world’s largest coal consumer, wants to significantly increase its coal electricity generating capacity in order to expand its economy. But this introduces a critical resource concern: more than half of the proposed plants will depend on water resources that are under high or extremely high stress.
In July 2012, China proposed building 363 new coal-fired power plants. These plants would have a combined generating capacity exceeding 557 gigawatts, an almost 75% increase on current capacity.
Researchers at the World Resources Institute recently overlaid the locations of those proposed coal plants on its Aqueduct water stress maps for China. Of the proposed plants, 23% sit in areas where 40% to 80% of available water resources are already in demand from other users – areas known as facing “high water stress”. And 28% would be built in regions where other users compete for more than 80% of existing water supplies – areas deemed to be facing “extremely high water stress”.
New plants could potentially threaten water security for China’s farms, the country’s largest water user, as well as other industries and communities.