More on Water in the Developing World

I know that when you think a website called “high-technocracy” you’d probably be thinking I’d blog more about computers and other silicon-based widgetry. Well, to be honest, it was in the hopes of forcing myself to think more about the role of computers in governance that inspired me to start this blog. Specifically I was interested in cybersecurity, cyberwar, and the growing threat of attacks (primarily in Latin America, my geographic focus). However, sometimes you have to go with what you know or what you’re already passionate about. And I am passionate about liquids. And the most important liquid is water.

I’ve already posted about new technologies that will hopefully provide improved access to clean drinking water which is a significant public health concern–and in my opinion a growing security concern. The US government is already developing plans for how to deal with domestic conflicts inside the US as water becomes more scarce, specifically in the southwest. This is serious business and not conspiracy-minded claptrap.

But water for immediate human consumption is only one part of the puzzle. The other one is access to enough water to irrigate fields. Irrigation itself is one of the modern marvels of agriculture and therefore civilization. Without the ability to irrigate fields, crop yields drop significantly and in some places this means well below subsistence levels, let alone marketable quantities.

So while high-technologists are developing new ways to get clean drinking water to those who need it, it’s important not to forget there are already moderately low-tech, cheap methods for getting water out of the ground and into irrigation ditches, as long as the people can be taught, and–if they lack them–provided with the proper supplies.