Good quality water sources in the right locations are the key to basic civilization, let alone even minimal economic growth. Like hydrocarbons, water is now the weak link to the maintenance of 7 billion people on the planet. Once abundant aquifers worldwide are being rapidly depleted, and resolving this is expensive and requires growth controls and sacrifice. Growth at any price strategies such as used in China completely fracture in this kind of environment. There is plenty to write on this topic but I will warm up with a little on two trainwrecks: North China and the American Southwest.
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