Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Wednesday 2 September 2009


Water The next war

IN THE last two editions I have outlined
some fears about the two cornerstones of
Western life, Democracy and Capitalism. I
want, now, to pursue this theme with an
argument for the return of some nationalization
of industry.
Although, in the past, it has served the
West well, Capitalism has been undermined
by the greed of the Banks and failure of
stock and commodity markets to regulate
the way they are run.
Now, it has all come to grief, many of the
UK banks are partially nationalized and I
ask if this is, in fact, something to be
pleased about. Are banks too important to
be left in the hands of people who haven't
the Nation's interests at heart?
Nationalisation of industry was once considered
anathema to the Capitalists, but
now, as Andalucia considers privatising the
water industry I wonder if this is wise. Would
it be in the public interest?
One reason for a nationalised industry is
that it is simply in the public interest. An
example in the UK is the Royal Mail.
Another reason for having a nationalised
industry is to protect it from exploitation by a
possible enemy or economic competitor.
If we look at the UK we can see that in
times of conflict the Country will be at the
mercy of those in control of not only water,
but fuel & energy supplies (The Russians
are already flexing their muscles), steel and
even the very ammunition and weapons
needed to fight the war.
Returning to water, we may not have to
wait very long to see conflict over this vital
resource. In the last edition of the, Ric Polansky in a thoughtful article
suggested that mankind is predisposed
to fight wars. I'm inclined to agree; all creatures
naturally protect their interests including
territory and resources and man is no
Other commentators, not least on a
recent BBC programme, have recently
been speculating that the next big wars will
be fought over water supply. Examples
include the Jordan valley where water levels
in Lake Galilee have fallen dramatically,
and the building of the new Merowe dam in
Sudan, disrupting the annual Nile flood in
Egypt. Around the world, rising populations
and land usage for agriculture will place
ever greater demands on water supply. In
Israel, if levels in Lake Galilee fall further,
the waters might become salt contaminated
sparking conflict with Judan and Syria.
Since 1929,a British brokered 'Colonial'
agreement gave Egypt rights to the waters
of the Nile. This was reinforced in 1959
when Sudan was also given rights, but
restricted abstraction by the upstream
states. Now Ethiopia, Uganda and others
are challenging the accord as being out of
step with the modern reality. The problem
for Egypt is that it has no alternative water
supply; unlike the UK for example it has no
rainfall. Therefore, although a Nile Basin
Initiative was set up to reach agreement
between all the interested countries, no
agreement has been reached. This should
come as no surprise because the Egyptians
cannot afford to step back from their current
position. Already, reduced flood waters
have meant no new silt deposits, so that for
the first time in 5000 years of Egyptian civilization,
farmers are having to use fertilizers,
forcing up the costs of food production
and therefore prices.
With the population of the nations that
share the Nile expected to rise from 300
million to 600 million in the next 25 years,
some commentators suggest that Egypt will
have no other viable option but to fight for
its water.
With climate change likely to alter rainfall
patterns around the globe, I ask is this the
right time for Andalucia to be releasing control
of its water supply through privatisation.
I only ask because I want to know.
Kevill Davies
Author of 'Apsaras', available from
online bookshops.

You read it here first!!

TODAY 27th August it is reported in the
Daily Telegraph and elsewhere that
Lord Turner, Chairman of the Financal
Services authority, is recommending
that because the Banks are 'Socially
useless', City specific taxes should be
introduced to curb bonuses.
In the last issue of READER.ES,
Thunderer suggested just that.
Readers of READER.ES hear of it first.
Lord Turner also agreed that City
income represented far too big a proportion
of the British economy. We all
once felt proud that 'Invisible earnings'
made up for the shortfall we had in
other international trading even if we
didn't really understand what it meant.
Now we see that the country has been
living on income akin to 'Immoral earnings'
except that no service is provided.

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