The Expert Economist Santiago Niño Becerra Points Out the Four Legs of the Water Scarcity Problem
The renowned economist Santiago Niño Becerra, who is famous for his predictions on economic crises, has now spoken up on environmentalism through his social media platforms. He has particularly focused on the challenge of water shortage, which he considers a problem that has “four legs.” In his Twitter thread, he has listed each of these legs and given his views on them.
Leg 1: Leaks in the Distribution Network
Niño Becerra has pointed out that the first leg of the water scarcity problem is the leaks in the distribution network. He has cited that in Catalonia alone, one out of every four liters is lost due to the leaks. This percentage is less than the average in Spain. The economist has strongly advocated for increasing the level of maintenance spending to tackle this problem. The Catalan Water Agency (ACA) has also reported a total loss of 134 cubic hectometres in 2022, equivalent to 24% of drinking water.
Leg 2: The Lack of Efficient Use of Water
The second leg that Niño Becerra has identified is the lack of an efficient use of water. He believes that this is not done adequately in irrigation, municipal, or private levels due to a lack of investment and culture. The United Nations (UN) has also addressed this issue under its program for the Environment (UNEP). The UN’s proposed solutions include increasing the productivity of water, reducing the intensity of water use, and improving the allocation of water among different uses.
Leg 3: Extending the Use of Gray Water
Niño Becerra considers the third leg of the water scarcity problem to be the lack of an extended use of gray water. He believes that this can be done more efficiently through investments and cultural shifts. Gray water is the residual liquid from showers, sinks, or bathtubs, which is not reused due to its polluting component. However, it can be recycled as it contains organic matter.
Leg 4: The Lack of Transfers and Desalination Plants
The last leg that the economist has analyzed relates to the problem of time. According to Niño Becerra, transfers and desalination plants should have been operational for decades by now. He has suggested that tax collection should increase to pay for it with public money if the price of drinking water becomes expensive. He believes that it is absurd and illogical to continue depending on rainwater, as we did in the 13th century.
To sum up, Santiago Niño Becerra has identified the four legs of the water scarcity problem and indicated how to tackle them effectively. He has strongly advised investing in maintenance, enhancing cultural shifts, extending the use of gray water, and implementing transfers and desalination plants as immediate solutions. These measures are imperative to ensure that we do not continue to depend on rainwater and tackle the current water crisis effectively.