The coming Australian water wars

Things are about to go Mad Max in Australia — except the studded-leather mutants will be fighting over water, not gas. The continent is suffering an unprecedented heat wave, punctuated by out-of-control wildfires. Earlier this week, International Space Station engineer Chris Hadfield, captured images of the southern continent's fires from space. Meanwhile, Australian weather forecasters actually added new colors to their forecast charts — purple and pink — to capture how hot it was going to be this week. Here you can see a time-lapse of how hot the continent will get over the next few days.

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DISCUSSION

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Chip Overclock®

Will the next war be fought over water instead of oil? Living here in Denver Colorado it's not hard to believe. Water is very expensive here. And thanks to climate change and drought, the cost is just going to keep going up. As time goes by I'm converting more and more of my lawn from grass to xeriscaping that requires much less water. But lawn maintenance aside, I foresee a time in my (short remaining) lifetime where just being able to take a short shower will be something I may choose not to do every day just because of cost. People that move here are often surprised to find that collecting rain water is _illegal_. When you buy a house, or even just a lot, you will discover that you do not automatically buy the water rights (nor mineral rights, for that matter), and the cost of such rights can be very high. And this includes the rain water that falls on your property. It's been said that the market price of water doesn't reflect it's true social value. As the climate continues to get hotter, I think we're in for interesting — and dry — times. Technology will help with some of this, although (for example) desalinated ocean water is likely to be far more expensive than what we pay for fresh water now. (And the rising price of energy will make it even more expensive.) There's a lot we can do to conserve water. But like oil, there's only so much water.