Originally Posted by Ceoli
I think pretty soon we'll be finding that most of our wars will be fought over water rather than oil.
There's a lot to be said for the perspective in that quote (above), but I would like to point out a crucial difference between oil (and fossil fuels, generally) and water. Terrestrial water is part of what is called "the water cycle." It is a cycle because water never really leaves the system. It doesn't get burned up -- like oil or coal.
Instead of disappearing, or being used up, water keeps cycling. And so long as it can be filtered or purified -- by natural or artificial means, all is well.
The problem is that (a) fresh water often becomes so polluted that recirculating it for use can be impracticable -- often because too expensive to do so, (b) local sources are improperly used, as in misalocation of precious resources -- this often has an ecomomic class basis, but also ties in with other misalocations, e.g., using lots of water to grow crops for export or to feed animals rather than people....
For millennia, water has been used to carry away wastes and pollutants. The so-called "developed world" does this in a big way by furnishing almost all houses with flush toilets--even in arid deserts, or during drought. Composting toilets are a viable alternative which allows the elimination of sewer/"brownwater" systems. All household drainage could be what is called greywater, and could serve to grow gardens, orchards and nearby urban polyculture.
One has to wonder about people who piss and shit in their drinking water and who insist that this is quite a civilized thing to do.