We're Running Out Of Water - SOME MORE NEWS
(upbeat theme music) - Why, hello there you little news stinkers. News rascals, news donkeys. Why, hello there you little news donkeys. I'm a beard that grew a boy who is destined to read the news. And here is some of that news.
(toilet flushing) Today, it is the beard's will that I tell you all about the biggest global crisis none of us are tweeting about enough. And before you ask, no, tweeting more will not solve it. We've tried, we've all tried. The thing in question is water, and how we're running out of it. Yeah, you, right now, and me. We're the we in the we're running out of water.
Also, Warmbo is here, and there's a hose running into... I should actually probably check on him, hold on. Hey, Warmbo, buddy. What, are you spraying a garden hose into the toilet and flushing down the water? Is this how you go? - [Warmbo] Warmbo calls it making brown bears.
- Wait, what? (dramatic musical tone) Yes, water, a thing we are running out of. While some industries will notice faster than others. For example, the industry that creates my water bill. Hey Warmbo, could you maybe stop wasting water, at least while I'm doing a video that's literally about wasting water. - [Warmbo] Warmbo is spraying the green vein to make NFTs.
- Green vein, Jesus, (censor bleep) God. Okay, Cody, remember what Dr. Zwig told you about breathing. And we're gonna breathe, we're gonna breathe out. We're going to a counselor. Anyway, while some areas and industries are going to notice water running out sooner. For example, any industry that perhaps needed to hide a body in the '80s, pretty much everyone is going to slowly realize something, like large bodies of water going missing.
'Cause we need those to live, or I guess, in some cases involving barrels, to kill. And as it currently stands, over half of the contiguous US is in a drought. Having experienced the least amount of rain in any year since 2012, leading to an increase in both wildfires and tornadoes. The two largest reservoirs in California have reached critically low levels.
One of which Lake Shasta is at the lowest it's ever been this time of year since records began in 1976. And we haven't even hit summer yet. To put that in better context. The month of May is typically when this lake is at its highest water level all year. One study estimates that the Southwest is currently experiencing the driest 22 year period since the year 850 CE.
Groundwater depletion and the worst drought in 1200 years, have gotten so bad in the Western United States that some towns are choosing to halt development and construction altogether. They're not building any new homes or businesses because there isn't enough water to support them, and that seems scary. So what the heck is going on with all of this water? After all, Americans have known for a while that it's important to conserve water. Even though we're all taught throughout school that part of water's extremely sexy appeal is that it's a renewable resource. The sexiest part of water. In many ways, it is our most (censoring bleep) natural resource, besides cocknesium and bunkston of course.
We're reminded to do things like shut off the water in the sink while we're brushing our teeth, and to break up your really big brown bears with an old potato masher, instead of flushing the toilet multiple times. And that's when you're not in places like California and Texas, which regularly experienced long periods of drought. Resulting in more strict conservation practices, such as prohibiting activities like washing your car or watering your lawn, and suggesting that you feel your hot tub with champagne instead of the garden hose during the hot summer months.
(toilet flushing) Christ, Warmbo, just please stop flushing the toilet like Lorraine Bracco in "Goodfellas", and come listen to me for a second. Warmbo. - Okay, well, this better be worth Warmbo's time. His fear of missing out on NFTs is costing Warmbo millions.
- I really wouldn't worry about that, but I'll move as fast as I can, go sit in your little bean bag. - Woo. - Okay, the point is we grow up learning both that water is renewable, and that we're each responsible for limiting our individual water waste so that it can be renewed for many hot tub seasons to come, but neither of those things are completely true. Water is only renewable if we leave enough water to be renewed, and we're not doing that.
Since the '60s, we've seen both a stark increase in water consumption, while simultaneously a stark decrease in water levels. If you think of it like a bank account that gains interest, we're simply withdrawing way more than we're gaining. And while it is important to hold ourselves responsible for conserving water, there's very little an average "John Q" citizen, the phrase not that Denzel Washington movie, can do that will have any meaningful effect. And I guess that leads us to the very obvious question. (dramatic music) Very good question this video that I'm in.
So obviously a lot of it can be traced back to manufacturing, which has increased in scale and resources required since the industrial revolution. Recent data shows that America blazes through around 15 billion gallons of water every day in industrial use. And that's just in direct water withdrawals from surface and ground water sources. Meaning that figure doesn't account for industrial use drawn from public water systems.
As it turns out, it takes a (censoring bleep) load of water to make things we use every single day, and also Teslas. A single car requires anywhere between 13,000 and 22,000 gallons of water to produce. Some estimates say well over that. A humble "My Hero Academia" cotton t-shirt needs 659 gallons of water to make it to Hot Topic shelves. Not to mention those snazzy matching shoes, which take over 2000 gallons. And finally, 2,636 gallons for a pair of jeans.
So the next time you're driving around in a '93 VW Fox, listening to Nirvana, wearing a Nirvana shirt, and a pair of Chucks and torn jeans. The amount of water your coolness requires is probably more than that swimming pool on the "Nevermind" cover. Not that it's your fault, after all you were born cool, you can't help it.
Manufacturing tends to get the most attention because it hoards a huge number of valuable resources, while the entire responsibility of conserving water is seemingly passed on to private citizens. It doesn't (censoring bleep) matter how many times I wash my imaginary Tesla this summer if it costs 20,000 times the amount of water to make one. That ledger is simply never going to get balanced, and it's absurd to scold individuals into timing their showers and installing low flow toilets if we don't hold manufacturers to a similar standard. It's like plugging a leak the size of a mouse is anus.
It doesn't matter who's, let's say Stuart Little, in a boat that is already sinking. But in actuality, industrial water withdrawals account for just 5% of total water withdrawals in the United States. Meanwhile, thermo electric power withdrawals amount for 49%.
In other words, about half of the water used in the entire country is devoted to generating the electricity required for me to play "Minecraft", and a bunch of other things too, such as powering cities and hospitals. But mostly, primarily, that first thing I said. It's weird we don't just take two buckets of water and pour them next to each other in a one by three hole and get infinite water. It seems so simple, that's a "Minecraft" joke for all my mine heads out there. So what of the rest of the water? Well, an entire (censoring bleep) load of water gets soaked up by agriculture. In a 2015 report by the USDA, agriculture accounted for 42% of fresh water withdrawal in the US.
But worldwide, agriculture is hands down the biggest literal drain on fresh water resources, accounting for 70% of water use. Of that 70%, an estimated 40% is wasted through things like inefficient irrigation practices, evaporation and poor water management. According to current estimates, the planet's population will increase by about 12% by 2050, to a total of 9 billion people. That number will require a 50% increase in agricultural productivity, and a 15% increase in fresh water withdrawals. That's a lot of water for a process that currently is so inefficient that it wastes almost half of the water it requires.
Like a reverse grower sore that just makes everyone sad. Where is that 15% increase in water withdrawals going to come from, my ass? I hope not, I need my for sitting and other things. Luckily, the United States has an abundance of fresh water sources, especially compared to other nations. Unluckily, Americans represent the second largest users of water in the entire world, right behind the United Arab Emirates.
And 80% of UAE is literal desert. So as we alluded to at the start of this, the US is very much vulnerable to water shortages caused by increasing population, economic development and climate change. The American Southwest, where many of our largest reservoirs are located, is currently experiencing a 22 year drought.
And 70% of US counties could face similar water shortages by 2050, so again, it seems scary much like-- Ah! - But water falls from the sky, it always grows back. Warmbo doesn't understand why Warmbo can't drain the green vein. - Boy, I wish you called that hose something different, literally anything else. But to answer your question, water is renewable, but the water cycle doesn't work if you remove fresh water from the equation. - What means water cycle, Mr. Cody? - I'm glad you asked.
The water cycle is the process by which water moves through the earth, through the land, the sea and the air, it's how water is renewed. - Maybe Mr. Cody needs help from his professor, Dr. Front Man Scott Bug to explain the water cycle.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely not. Also, I pretty much just explained it, so we don't really have to resort to anymore gimmicks or-- Warmbo, I am begging you please don't-- (signal bleep) Mother (censoring bleep) Warmbo, we literally just-- - Silence, you fiend, I'm here to tell you about the water cycle. It's not just a bike made out of water, though it is also exactly that. - We literally just did this for inflation.
Warmbo, stop draining the green vein! - Did you say green vein? Oh, how I'd love to suckle at the green vein as a boy during summers at nanan's (speaks gibberish) - Can you please finish this bit? - Sorry, I can't ever hear you. The water cycle, a triumphant bit of bubbly doubly. By far one of the world's greatest mysteries. No one truly understands how it works. But as the legend goes, long ago a chicken wept at the sight of an eagle. And the salt of that bird's tears became the seas.
The hot from the sea became steam, and that steam became the clouds. And when the clouds were pierced by that same magnificent eagle, the steam tumbled back to the earth as chilies and wets, giving us hurricanes, and Christmas, and eagles. - Thank you, Dr. Professor, not only are you a documented felon, but that was a complete waste of time. - Oh, not at all, I'm always happy to nurture young scientific minds. Science is my third best category in trivial pursuit.
So ring me up if you're ever in (speaks gibberish) and want to conduct experiments about electricity, or as I call it, yahweeh. - Okay, so actually, I have this blood smeared sixth grade science book right here, and what Scott bug absolutely did not explain is that standing water on the earth evaporates and becomes water vapor, which is what forms the clouds. Water then falls back to the earth as precipitation, like snow and rain, liquid water also moves along the ground in rivers and runoffs, gets absorbed by plants, and passes back into the air as water vapor. It's how water is recycled.
No matter what happens to it, it finds its way back into the atmosphere, to be returned to the earth as clean water. It's like a giant Brita, or that thing Costner sneezes his hog into in the beginning of "Waterworld". - Yes, well, we all love drinking urine, it's how I get my shiny mane. - Cool, so glad we learned stuff. Anyway, I called the police during this exchange. So we're gonna cut to ads and get this all settled, BRB.
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(upbeat theme music) Hey, welcome back from those ads. The cops never actually came, but they did shoot 16 dogs near my house. And the sounds were enough to spook Scott Bug away because he has priors. So we should be good. (toilet flushing) Except that's still happening in my bathroom.
Any who, we were spending a gratuitous amount of time talking about the water cycle. In addition to reminding us how water is naturally cleaned and recycled, the water cycle also emphasizes water's importance as the building block of every form of life, regardless of the biome in which it exists. We have found life at extreme colds, and heats, and pressures, as well as life that doesn't even get energy from the sun, but rather from chemosynthesis via hydrothermal vents, which is quite possibly how life began. But in all of those places there's always water. It brings life to places where the sun never touches. The one constant everywhere life is found is always water.
Life literally cannot exist without it, as far as we know, and it worked perfectly well for eons. Immeasurable amounts of time, not only here on earth, but throughout the observable solar system. There is quite possibly a warm ocean deep underneath the ice sheet covering Europa, as well as a cryovolcano on Enceladus, and possibly also on Titan.
Just recently, evidence of cryovolcanoes was discovered on Pluto. What I'm getting at is water is fundamental to existence, and is present everywhere in the known universe. So it seems important that we make it free, like some kind of natural right that we ensure everyone here has access to. Also, there's probably some other similar things we should do the same with. Other stuff we put into our bodies on a regular basis in order to survive, usually comes from the ground.
Sometimes, but not always, comes in a tube form, and we put in our mouths, it gets you super high when you smoke it. But the problem we're beginning to experience now is that the current landscape of manufacturing and agriculture, along with the effects of climate change, are leaking havoc on the water cycle. We're depleting water more rapidly than it is being replenished. And we're polluting the (censoring bleep) out of it in the process. At just a totally bitching rate of speed, we're blowing the doors off this piece of (censoring bleep) Planet earth, that seems rude.
We're depriving entire regions of the world from having access to clean water, which is a direct threat to the continued existence of life on this planet. Because as I feel like I've made clear, water is the one thing every living being on earth needs to survive. And while it seems a little "Schoolhouse Rocky", for me to explain the water cycle to a puppet, the general process of the water cycle bears repeating, because we've been taking it for granted pretty much for the entirety of modern history, at least in America. Amazingly, this extremely important and very real resource is being depleted extremely fast in the name of currency we put imaginary value on.
Kind of like someone sprang a hose into the toilet to make internet bucks. - [Warmbo] Warmbo can't hear you over the sound of Warmbo's millions. - So on that note, let's talk about all of the ways the United States has put water, that thing we need to survive, somehow below money and profit, a thing we made up.
Which I can't stress enough, is absolutely unreal when you think about it for even a moment, ah, there it goes, wow unreality, whoo. First of all, the United States doesn't require corporations to disclose how much water they're using in manufacturing, or really any industry, like data centers and energy. That seems bad, right? Feels like something we should be keeping track of. Luckily, the SEC is proposing new rules that would require companies to disclose their contributions and risks to climate change. In one proposed example, registrants that are heavily reliant on water for their operations could face regulatory restrictions on water use, increased expenses related to the acquisition and purchase of alternative sources of water, or curtailment of its operations due to a reduced water supply that diminishes its earning capacity. The proposal also states that companies operating in regions of high water stress would be required to disclose how much water they're withdrawing from those regions.
In other words, the SEC wants to make it a requirement for companies, particularly those in energy, manufacturing and agriculture, to start revealing exactly how much water they are using. Any company using too much could be hit with restrictions, higher prices, and suspensions of operations if water supplies run too low. That's not bad, but it also sounds like rules that should have already been in place, and it will also probably be tough to implement. As we all know, corporations are infamous for immediately bowing to vital new environmental regulations after doing literally whatever they want for a hundred years.
They definitely won't complain to their buddies in Congress about having to actually start keeping track of how many millions of gallons it takes to produce beef for McDonald's or rinse the dye out of a stack of dungarees. You know how Joe Manchin keeps swatting clean energy legislation away from the fossil fuel industry like Hakeem Olajuwan, a reference I definitely understand, because he has huge financial ties to coal. Like a gigantic petroleum mascot. Let's say the Michelin man, suddenly guarding the rim of progress. Like he's really gunning for that MVP trophy.
A trophy that the basketball player I mentioned got one of, I am told. How many members of Congress do you think have ties to manufacturing in agriculture or the tech industry? Did you guess a lot, me too, that's what I had as well. And so politics are going to get even more embarrassing before any meaningful action is able to be taken.
We're going to see so many passive aggressive memes tweeted from people like Mitt Romney, about how the Midwest can't justify the loss of revenue incurred by producing a slightly less beef to conserve water while the rest of the planet shrivels up. Luckily, dank memes will always have a home on Elon's Twitter. One company that would presumably be targeted by the proposed new rules would be Google.
Google, like the Bond villain tax shelter we long suspected it to be, declared that the amount and nature of its water use is a proprietary trade secret, and therefore does not disclose its water use. However, what we do know is that Google has 21 data centers, each requiring massive amounts of water to cool its servers. And according to public records and legal findings, Google requested, or was granted, more than 2.3 billion gallons of water for data centers in three different states in 2019 alone. That's at least enough for a secret water park, which Google definitely has.
And a secret shark hotel, which Google definitely also has. since this news broke, Google has promised to replenish 20% more water than it uses by 2030. Although we still have no idea exactly how much they're using, so I guess we'll take their word for it. It seems risky, but I do love when they change up their logo for different holidays.
(upbeat theme music) Bottled water companies like Nestle also deserve a whole lot of scrutiny and accountability. First of all, the very idea of selling bottled water should be (censoring bleep) illegal. The person who thought of it should be cursed to an eternity of awkward conversations at an airport Arby's. Allowing Nestle to sell bottled water is no different than allowing Nestle to carve air farms into the sky to sell people bottled air. The only reason we think it's different is because air farms are impossible so far. If they could build air farms, they would and probably will.
So why do we allow Nestle and Coca-Cola to claim entire reservoirs so they can bottle and sell the universal resource that literally falls from the sky for the benefit of every living thing. Doesn't that sound (censoring bleep) absurd? But beyond the general (censoring bleep) of selling water, Nestle is extremely shady. In 2018 the company drained 45 million gallons of water from California's Strawberry Creek, which is federally protected land.
They then bottled that water, which if you recall, is a basic human right, and sold it back to us as part of their 7.8 billion in worldwide sales. That's thanks in part to the Forest Service approving a brand new five year permit that same year, allowing Nestle to continue slurping up all the H2 woe from federal land. Why do we allow something like that to happen? Because Nestle spends millions on lobbying and campaign contributions at both the federal and local level so they can continue exploiting water as a grocery product. That's how former Nestle chief executive and chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, referred to it while insisting that water should have a market value. - [Automated] It's a question of weather we should privatize the normal water supply for the population, and there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs who bang on about declaring water a public right.
That means that as a human being, you should have a right to water. That's an extreme solution. And the other view says that water is a food stuff like any other, and like any other food stuff, it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it's better to give a food stuff a value so that we're all aware that it has its price.
- Yes, the extreme view that water, a thing that all living things need to live, should be a right. Glad we're getting the opinion on whether water should be free or not from the guy who literally sells water for a living. And by for a living, I mean to become obscenely wealthy. incidentally Brabeck-Latmathe also believes that the planet will run out of water before it runs out of oil.
And that the solution is to allow water to be privatized, so we can sell it. Did I mention he was also on the board of ExxonMobil. And while Nestle's new five year permit to continue siphoning water from Strawberry Creek requires a three year study to determine the company's impact on the watershed. That study is being conducted by Nestle, and the results of the test will not be made public. Critics have expressed concern that Nestle will lie it's bottled off about the test results because they've literally done it before.
As in a scientist hired by Nestle got busted for inventing favorable test results during a court case in 2003. The state of California is currently suing Nestle to stop them from siphoning millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest amid the drought. Nestle has also bought cocoa from, and given technical and financial resources, to farms in Africa using enslaved children as workers. But that's unrelated, apparently. If you can't tell from the tone of my voice, that fact is absolutely related.
Nestle is criming its way through our water, because it is a company that does crimes, notably, terrible crimes. Nestle was successfully sued for its role in abetting child slavery, but the ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court. If we can't even hold them accountable for actual child slavery, getting them to stop depleting our water for the sake of the continued existence of life on earth seems about as likely as Marvel releasing John Candy into the candy verse. Which is a script I know they've read, because I keep mailing it to them and they haven't said stop.
Sadly, Nestle is far from the only reservoir vampire. Reservrampire, I don't think that's gonna work. (upbeat theme music) Perfect, a lot of fresh water reservoirs are underground, and are routinely drained to make way for construction and mining projects. That wouldn't be quite so bad if those reservoirs were restored, but they usually aren't. And whether or not we were using those reservoirs for anything is irrelevant, because they're vitally important to the water cycle. You remember, that thing we talked about earlier.
Rain doesn't spontaneously appear, it's not God's jizz or something. It has to come from somewhere on the ground first, or else the whole thing doesn't work. And we're sucking it all up like Daniel Day-Lewis bullying the Riddler.
Oh right, fracking is also pissing all up in the water cycle, just stirring its piss cannon right into the teacup. Our teacup of fresh water. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a mining process that involves drilling into the earth and directing a high pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals at a rock layer in order to release the gas and or petroleum inside.
Fracking on average can take between 1.5 million and 9.7 million gallons of water to frack a single well. The waste products and process of fracking can also poison groundwater, which it has done in both Wyoming and Pennsylvania. It was enough for the EPA to conclude that fracking is a threat to American water supplies, but maintaining clean water supplies are a threat to fracking profits. So there's simply nothing we can do, apparently.
If Jesus wanted me to save the environment, he wouldn't have invented money and made George W. Bush the president. And speaking of Jesus W. Money Bush, why don't you take a gander at our money bush? These ads, hot, hot stuff, ads. - Oh, hello there. Did you know that ever since I was a tiny Katy, I always liked collecting bugs sometimes by the hundreds.
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You can power up your favorite theme characters, and watch 'em transform and get stronger. It's kind of like when I attached a millipede to a scorpion, and called it Reggie Many Legs. So go on, go to the app store or Google Play to download "Best Fiends" for free, plus earn even more of $5 worth of in-game rewards when you reach level five. That's friends without the R, "Best Fiends".
(upbeat theme music) - Welcome back news gang, did you have fun relaxing the money Bbush down by the old watering hole? I hope so, 'cause the old water hole is gone, dried up, a husk. And you never told it how much you loved it. Pretty soon all our water and holes will be bone dry, but it isn't that no action is being taken to replenished dwindling reservoirs.
That's part of the problem, but it isn't that no action is being attempted. We're trying, and currently we're failing. For example, take the Colorado River.
No, seriously take it write the (censoring bleep) outta here, I'm tired of looking at it. And that sounds like a fun joke, but it's what we're actually doing. You see, the Colorado River is one of the biggest sources of freshwater in the nation. Seven different states depend on it for water reserves. However, in recent years the rivers reservoirs have been staggeringly depleted by historic droughts and massive withdrawals. The reservoirs are so depleted in some areas that lake beds and shorelines are drying up, causing wildlife populations to plummet, and sending toxic dust into nearby towns and cities.
The Salton Sea for example, is so low that its dry lake beds have been gassing neighboring population centers with dust, contributing to increasing rates of asthma. The water level in lake Mead has been steadily dropping, with no sign of stopping anytime soon. That's America's largest reservoir. The one we're finding all those bodies in.
Coincidentally, 30 minutes from Las Vegas, currently at 35% (censoring bleep) capacity. It's the lowest it's been since it was filled following the completion of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. Meanwhile, the US's second largest reservoir, Lake Powell, is currently at its lowest level since it was filled back in the 1960s. The federal Bureau of Reclamation has estimated that Lake Powell has a one in four chance of dropping so low by 2024, that Glen Canyon dam would no longer be able to generate electricity. And most of the Colorado River's deltas in Mexico have been dried up for decades.
(upbeat theme music) Hey, now, extremely rude and weird title monkey. Everyone's moms are hot and wet. All right, as you may have noticed, all of this is (censoring bleep) like your mom. (laughs) But an agreement to reduce water use among several major regions supplied by the Colorado River hit a wall when the Imperial Irrigation District refused to participate, on the grounds that the proposed deal didn't provide any funding for the Salton Sea. The IID is the single largest user of the river's reservoirs, that supplies water to more than half a million acres of farmland in Southern California's Imperial Valley.
The agreement would've seen districts in California, Nevada and Arizona work together to shoulder the burden of water cutbacks to reduce the risk of reservoirs dropping below critical levels. The IID sued the other districts involved in the agreement, freezing any progress until a new agreement could be reached. And a new one has been, except now every district's burden of water cutbacks has been reduced, including the IIDs.
So they sued because no money was being allocated to address an overtaxed reservoir, to reach a new agreement that reduces the size of their share of water cutbacks. Progress, I guess. I'm not suggesting that the Salton Sea isn't important, and doesn't need immediate action to replenish its banks, bring back the wildlife, and stop farting toxic dust all over the American Southwest, but the single largest user of water in the Southwest stalling an equally vital water conservation bill for two years in the middle of a two decade drought, because it didn't get all of the money it asked for seems like a thing maybe a (censoring bleep) would do. Some action now is infinitely better than no action for however many years it takes to renegotiate a more palatable agreement. Adel Haghekhalil, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California said of the current situation, "Seven states, two nations, "several native American tribes, countless cities and farms "all rely on the Colorado Rivers waters, "and yet the current level of reliance is not sustainable."
The situation is dire, and we're only going to dig ourselves out of it by working together to find solutions. Luckily, America's wealthiest citizens are doing their part to help. - We're back now with the uproar involving a Hollywood star. Actor, Tom Selleck, accused of stealing truckloads of public water, having it brought to his estate during the middle of California's historic drought, when so many other people are being forced to cut back.
- Themselves, doing their part to help themselves. I should have read the rest of the teleprompter, I'm sorry. Yes, Tom Selleck settled a case in 2015, in which he was accused of stealing water from a fire hydrant to water his avocado farm. And Tom Selleck has gone on record saying he doesn't even like avocados. He secretly hates them, and has been planning their death for years.
Just waiting for the right moment to get the farm a little too drunk on its birthday, before shoving it down the stairs and claiming it was an accident. Then he will collect a sizable insurance settlement, and flee to The Bahamas to be with his true love, Tom Selleck's sugarcane fields. The point is he's only growing avocados because they make him money, the farm is an investment, which if you're unfamiliar, and many of us are, is a thing rich people get to do with their extra money.
Which if you're unfamiliar, and many of us are, is money you have left over after paying all of your bills for the month. I know, I didn't know either of those things existed either. And Tom Selleck needed to steal that water to protect his investment. So what Magnum wants Magnum gets. And by Magnum, I also just mean rich people in general, who during the last big Los Angeles water rationing, remained completely unaffected on account of wealthy people not really caring about being fine by the city, or poor people in general.
Rich neighborhoods, it just so happens, also account for three times more water consumption according to a UCLA study. And while cities can certainly shut off water supplies to over consuming homes and businesses, no matter how rich the owner is, these events are likely a taste of how the country as a whole will handle dwindling water supplies. Specifically, the more it's treated like a grocery product with market value, the more likely fresh drinking water will become a luxury product. And on that same horrible topic, water is also being traded as a stock, because again, corporations would sell the air we breathe if they could.
The US' water trade market was launched on the Chicago mercantile exchange, with 1.1 billion in contracts tied to California's water. This market allows farmers, hedge funds and municipalities to hedge against future water availability in the state. As explained in the conversation by UC Berkeley's Ellen Bruno, and North Carolina State University's Heidi Schweizer, farmers, power plant operators, cities, and others that rely on water to conduct business can use the future's market as basically an insurance policy to hedge their risks. A farmer may not want to worry about the price of water increasing in the summer.
So she hedges that risk by buying a future's contract that locks in a price. Or a water district that sells water to commercial users may want to hedge against a drop in price, so it sells a contract. The future's market allows these water users to trade away risk.
In other words, we're so aware of the fact that we're running out of water that we have taken action to ensure that corporations which depend on water can safeguard their profits by guaranteeing prices for them, instead of safeguarding the actual water. You're betting against the continued availability of water. Paying money to gamble on a "Mad Max" future in a scenario where the "Mad Max" future is how you win. (upbeat theme music) Meanwhile, in the midst of all this commodification, water's becoming less affordable for many Americans, including Michigan residents.
Costs have doubled between 1980 and 2018 in Michigan, and tripled in Flint in Detroit when adjusted for inflation. Low income households in Detroit are spending at least a quarter of their income on water and sewage. In 2017, almost 18,000 Detroit residents were at risk of having their water shut off completely for late water payments.
Officials have since placed a moratorium on water shutoffs, but it isn't like municipalities in Michigan have the best track record when it comes to clean water access for its citizens. Do you remember Flint? In response to an ongoing financial crisis triggered by the closing of several General Motors manufacturing plants in the '80s and '90s, Michigan governor, Rick Snyder, appointed a series of emergency city managers to help run Flint in 2011. And one of the first things these notably unelected officials did was switch the city's water supply from the Detroit water and sewerage department to the Flint river in 2014, to save money. Now, I know what you're thinking.
Can you just switch your water supply from an actual reservoir to a regular ass river without poisoning the (censoring bleep) out of hundreds of thousands of people? And the answer is no, no you can't. It turns out the water from the Flint River was loaded with dangerous levels of lead and bacteria. A test of the water showed levels of lead high enough to exceed the EPAs criteria for hazardous waste. Not meet the criteria, exceed the criteria, word number one, poison. When people complained the emergency city managers, heroically, did absolutely nothing.
They first issued two different statements, advising residents to boil their tap water before using it to remove dangerous bacteria. Twice, they said just boil it twice. Of course, the supply was eventually switched back to the DWSD, but not before an absolutely epic tale of corruption and denial that we don't have to get into right now. And when a new governor and the federal government finally intervened, and the EPA finally determined Flint's water was safe to drink in June of 2016, over two years after the switch to the Flint River, and nearly one year after switching back, more than a dozen state and local officials were indicted on charges including obstruction of justice and involuntary manslaughter. Did you catch that word, manslaughter. The poisoned river water exposed roughly 100,000 people to dangerous levels of lead, and caused an outbreak of legionnaire disease that killed at least 12 residents in Genesee County, where Flint is located.
Fun side note, around the time all of this was happening, Nestle was pumping 1100 gallons of water per minute from the state of Michigan. And in 2003, a Michigan court found Nestle to be solely responsible for draining these state's Dead River watershed dry. Boy, somebody should think about privatizing all of that water before it gets used up by companies privatizing it.
And of course, while it became the most famous, Flint is far from the only region in the United States suffering from a lack of access to clean water. In December of last year, Hawaii's department of health detected petroleum in water samples taken at Red Hill Elementary School. Along with increasing concerns about widespread fuel contamination within the Navy's water supply system in Red Hill and Pearl Harbor, that serves an estimated 93,000 people.
According to NPR, residents in nearly 1000 homes near the Naval base had been complaining of nausea, stomach pain, and a gasoline odor emanating from their tap water. The previous month, the Navy said a water and fuel mixture had leaked into a fire suppression system drain line in a tunnel at a fuel storage facility three miles inland of Pearl Harbor. But the Navy claimed the contaminant was removed, and then nothing had leaked into the environment.
Unless you count the drain water of 93,000 Americans as the environment. Then there's the Standing Rock protests, and the subsequent Water Is Life Movement, which were born in response to the threat to soil and drinking water the proposed new path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline would pose. The architects of the pipeline were aware of that threat because it was the exact reason they moved the Dakota Access pipeline to cut through native land, instead of passing too close to north Dakota's state capital of Bismarck. You see, the citizens of Bismarck complained that spills would poison their water supply. "What are we gonna do?" Not build the pipeline.
The primary mission statement of the Water Is Life Movement, by the way, is to promote a global reemphasis on the importance of water to every single living thing on the planet, and to provide clean drinking water to communities across the globe. Kind of the crux of the whole episode right there, actually. And it's impossible to overstate the importance of that reemphasis. More than 2 million Americans lack access to clean drinking water. And more than 44 million Americans are being served drinking water that violates the Safe Drinking Water Act. America can't even provide safe drinking water to areas that aren't in the middle of an historic drought.
Not when money is at stake, beautiful, silky money, which passes no judgment on you or I for the things we do to obtain it. We're also just kind of careless about how we treat water and people's access to it. We take it for granted, and treat it with all the gravitas and concern of... (toilet flushing) How's the NFT coming, buddy? - Oh, Mr. Cody is still here. - Thanks for listening, Warmbo.
- Yeehaw. - See, total waste of time. Of course, lest you think this is a uniquely American problem. Let me calm those weirdly specific fears by assuring you that it is definitely not. As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned a few times, the entire world is running out of water.
We're spilling that (censoring bleep) like a cart full of Legos getting dragged back inside Target by a loss prevention specialist. It isn't just localized to the land of Matts Gaetz and Marjori Taylor Greene, who believe the climate is a server you can abuse until earth management appears to comp this drought. There are a number of extreme water crises and shortages around the world. Currently 17 countries are facing extreme water stress, and those 17 countries hold approximately one quarter of the world's population. In those 17 countries, industry, agriculture and municipalities are using up 80% of the water supply. And 12 of those countries are located in the middle east, north Africa, areas where rainfall is already critically low, and is projected to be reduced by as much as 60% in the near future, as the effects of climate change worsen.
It is so bad the president of the global nonprofit research organization, World Resources Institute, referred to water stress as the biggest under reported crisis currently facing the planet. The consequences of which are extreme. Water scarcity has been cited as a contributing factor in the ongoing Syrian civil war.
I'm sorry, I can't fully go into all of those other deeply apocalyptic situations because I'm far too busy explaining the deeply apocalyptic situation here in the States, but I assure you, they're all part of the same big apocalypse. Also, do you really want this video to be three hours long? Don't answer that, don't ever answer that. So whether we're talking about the American Southwest, or the homes of a quarter of the humans on earth, there's no (censoring bleep) water in these places, or at least pretty soon there won't be.
As I've said, just a whole bunch of times now, water is the fundamental building block of life. It is our most essential resource. We need it to do literally everything. Every aspect of human existence, from our biological needs, to more intangible concepts like society and infrastructure, requires access to fresh water.
I know you've heard me say it because you've been sitting here this whole time. Yes, I can see you, I'm not sure why or how. - [Warmbo] Warmbo can tell you how. - Warmbo, seriously, have you heard anything I've been talking about for the past...
I've been talking for how long? - Time is a web silly goat, and Warmbo is the spider. - Look, let's bake the brown bear facts. We're running out of water, but we're not running out of people anytime soon. If your country doesn't have enough water to support its people, let alone manufacturing agriculture, you have to get that water from somewhere. That means one of two possibilities.
Either you relocate your entire population to someplace, and share water somehow, or you do that same thing with planes and tanks, and take the water from other people. Or a third possibility, which is total economic collapse. And your population either dies or becomes a wasteland, scavengers hijacking war rigs for water and gasoline. None of those outcomes are good, as cool as the last one does kind of sound, actually. Even if a full blown "Mad Max" water war never breaks out, the effects of massive population migrations would be almost as catastrophic.
By one report, droughts are projected to affect roughly 700 million people by the end of the century. Look at it like this, if the state of Arizona runs out of water because the ghost of John McCain was unable to negotiate more rainfall up in Reagan's heaven, blessed be thy name, and relocates its entire population to Nevada. What's going to happen to Nevada's water supply? We're just shifting the water stress around like we're trying to load a college freshman's bedroom into the back of a hatchback. We're not even playing whackamole. We're just sitting on the bluffs of Tom Selleck's avocado farm, looking out over the blasted landscape that was once New Mexico, picking our favorites in war lord Skulley's doom chariots sex Olympics, and convincing ourselves that our homes will never come under his rule. To put it another way.
Think of how violently the nations of the world compete for fossil fuels. Think of how many wars have been fought over them, and of how many national economies depend on access to oil. Now imagine how that competition would accelerate if literally every industry and every living thing on earth needed oil to exist.
(upbeat theme music) So what do we do, what can we do about this? The strategy for the past several decades has been to find a solution that doesn't require us to change our lifestyles. And to depend on industry to solve a problem that industry created, which I'm sure will work out splendidly. One option that has been discussed is desalination. Taking salt water and refining it into potable fresh water. Currently 300 million people get some fresh water from roughly 17,000 desalination plants in 150 countries. That's a lot, meaning desalination is clearly at least a somewhat viable solution.
The problem is desalination is an expensive process, and not just in terms of how much money it costs, although it isn't cheap. A thousand gallons of fresh water from a desalination plant costs between $2,50, to $5. Compared to $2 for natural fresh water. But the bigger issue is how much energy the process requires. Globally, desalination plants use more than 200 million kilowat hours per day.
And so energy costs constitute roughly 55%, the total operational and maintenance costs of every desalination plant. And that's actually one of the biggest problems with most proposed technological solutions to the worsening climate crisis. In general, technology requires an enormous amount of energy.
So realistically, we need to be pushing even more heavily for clean, renewable energy for any proposed solution to the water crisis to have a legitimate chance of succeeding. The tech industry is one of the biggest consumers of energy. According to the "Financial Times", the combined power requirements of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple are more than 45 terawatt hours per year, which is more than Hong Kong. Electricity generated by fossil fuels costs an incredible amount of water, and that number is only going to increase as the industry grows and technology gets more complex. And fossil fuels aren't just expensive, they're dirty, like a bunch of gross little coal donkeys.
Not clean news donkeys like all of you. For desalination and other technological solutions to work, they need to be developed alongside a hard pivot into renewable energy that doesn't destroy the environment. Scrubbing millions of gallons of sea water in plans that send gallons of pollution right back out like cheerful smoke stacks on a factory in a Disney cartoon isn't a long term solution.
That's just putting a bandaid on a head wound. Renewable energy, like wind and solar, isn't just better for the environment in terms of cutting down on pollution, it also doesn't require the use of water. Desalination plants that require incredible amounts of water to operate, and belch noxious carbon pollution in the process, are a temporary solution at best.
So until we can find a way to make that Kevin Costner pee scrubbing machine run on sunlight, instead of the bubbling crude, we're still mostly just drinking pee. And I've had my fill of Kevin Costner's delicious piss. Another proposed solution is carbon capture, which is basically the process of capturing carbon emissions and storing them deep within the earth rather than letting them run free like wild ponies.
Wild, magnificent ponies. The problem is the process is unreliable and inefficient. A $1 billion project to capture emissions from a Texas coal plant was shut down in 2020 after just three years. The plant was plagued with chronic shutdowns.
It experienced 367 days of outages, more than a quarter of which were directly related to the carbon capture process. And only captured 3.8 million of the 4.6 million short tons of carbon dioxide it was expected to, a shortfall of 17%.
That's pretty high guys, and it's not the only attempt at carbon capture that had the exact same results. Also, kind of goes without saying that this is almost a childishly naive solution. What if instead of doing anything at all to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we consume, we just found a way to trap all the pollution and bury it underground like a pile of cursed (censoring bleep) pirate treasure for future generations to worry about. It shouldn't come as a shocker that the most notable carbon capture proposal came, of course, from this guy. - [Reporter] Elon Musk is offering a 100 million prize for the best technology to scrub carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
- Hey, would it surprise you to learn that carbon capture is being heavily proposed by the fossil fuel industry? Because it shouldn't at all, because it is. This isn't to say that we should dismiss carbon capture entirely, but rather that it should be taken with the biggest possible grain of salt. Just a monstrous salt Hulk, the kind of salt grain you charge admission to see. its just another "Deus X" mocking it type of solution, that ultimately boils down to kicking the can further down the road so we don't have to do anything difficult right now.
Maybe plant more trees, Elon. - So much people say, "Well, just plant a bunch of trees." I'm like, "That's not so easy." - [Interviewer] A trillion trees? - Sure, exactly, you need to get fertilizer, you gonna water them, where's the water gonna come from? What habitat are you potentially destroying, where the trees used to be? It's not just a no brainer of just go plant a bunch of trees. - [Interviewer] But it's not to say that's not a good viable option? - We should plant some trees. I'm in favor of planting trees.
- Yeah, we shouldn't plant trees, that's too hard. Something we've never done before. I mean, where would you put 'em all? That could harm our precious treeless ecosystems, but also, yes, plant more trees. Great message from a brilliant man. Also just a thought.
If you're looking for a place to add more trees, maybe just put 'em back where you took all the trees away. Because deforestation is also a big old (censoring bleep) rag soaking up way too much water. Obviously we're aware of the havoc deforestation reeks on ecosystems around the world, but one reason those tree hugging hippies are shouting so loudly about it, is that it's blasting a hole in that aforementioned water cycle, like that Miley Cyrus song about a wrecking ball. I forget the name, but it's out there somewhere.
Remember earlier in the show when a dangerous weirdo rambled some fairytale words about the water cycle, and then I had to explain that plants return groundwater to the atmosphere as water vapor, which is an extremely important step in the process that makes water a renewable resource? Well, trees are plants, the best plants, some might say. They help regulate precipitation and evaporation, as their branches and roots can store and release water vapor, which controls rainfall. Forests also help keep groundwater sources clean by acting as natural filters that weed out pollutants caused by erosion. In fact, forests can actually save billions of dollars on the cost of water treatment facilities. In the late 1990s, New York City invested $1.5 billion to conserve
its forested watershed areas in the Catskills, which ultimately saved as much as eight times that amount that would have been spent building a new treatment plant. The water cycle depends on trees. Wiping out acres of jungles and forests leads to irregular rainfall patterns, including drought, and can increase the level of contaminants found in fresh water sources.
In other words, deleting trees from the equation and expecting it to have no effect on sustainability of our fresh water sources is like making a Batman TV show without Batman in it. That'd be pretty stupid, can you imagine? Ah, hypotheticals. But arguably, one of the biggest reckonings that needs to happen is that we need to address how much water is consumed by agriculture, and find a way to make that number less. And that's an extremely tough sell. It's hard to convince people that we should produce less food when so many people in the world are starving. But that's kind of exactly what we need to do, and could do without people starving.
If food wasn't a thing corporations hoarded, and sold huge amounts for equally grotesque profits. But since that probably won't change, let's meet somewhere in the middle, and agree that at the very least steps should be taken to make agriculture more efficient. For example, in California in 2016, around 34% of crops went unharvested. That includes crops that were left behind in the field because of pests, disease, or because they didn't look store ready. As well as walk bys, which are crops that were left unharvested because they simply got missed. But to be clear, walk bys accounted for less than 3% of the unharvested crops.
That means something like one third of the food produced is intentionally left on the ground. According to estimates made by the Natural Resources Defense Council, as much as 40% of the food produced in the United States doesn't get eaten. Similarly, ReFED, a nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and food waste in the US, estimates that 21% of the water used in the country is devoted to food that never gets consumed. Grown on a total of 18% of the nation's crop lands. In other words, a total area of land roughly equal to the total crop land in Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota combined is used to grow food that nobody eats, and that feels inefficient.
That's the kind of inefficiency that we use to lampoon in office comedies like "Office Space" and "Dilbert". Water waste made "Dilbert" successful is what I'm saying. So it must be stopped at all costs. ReFEd estimates that reducing food waste alone could save as much as 4 trillion gallons of water per year.
So maybe we should look into that, but what about other solutions? Israel has had success with recycling waste water and repurposing it for irrigation. Currently Israel is able to recycle 86% of the water that goes down the drain in one way or another. With recycled waste water supplying more than 40% of Israel's agriculture. Additionally, over half of the country's drinking water is provided by desalination. And while again, that process is still a far cry from being a viable long term solution, we're at least seeing that it can be used in its current state, alongside other conservation efforts, to some success.
Collecting and storing rainwater is another option that produces a lower yield than graywater recycling, but is less complicated and has a lower risk of bacterial contamination. Singapore currently gets around 30% of its fresh water from rainwater capture. Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens storm water harvesting system provides 30 million liters of water per year, which is about 8 million gallons in the correct system of measurement.
Unfortunately, rainwater capture hasn't gotten much further in the US than community adoption, and historic droughts throughout the country and the world mean that this process would have to be used in tandem with other conservation efforts. But maybe that's something we should be looking into also. Maybe throw a couple bucks in that direction, Biden. Huh, Bra