An Indian megacity of 11 million people literally runs out of water, trucking in 10m litres a day to hydrate a panicking population amid water queues and panic-buying. In Bolivia a scandalous water privatisation leaves people paying a quarter of their earnings just to drink. Water riots and deaths ensue. And in the UK, companies take £60bn in profit while pumping raw sewage into waterways – while London’s millennia-old chalk aquifer is now drained bone-dry. The Capital is now under threat of running out of drinking water altogether.
When the water runs out, populations move in their millions. And that means destabiliation on a global scale. Arthur talks to researchers and unlikely experts (yes, that’s Feargal Sharkey from The Undertones) about a threat that’s bigger than any populist movement or villainous autocrat. We’re facing hydropocalypse.
• “London is now on a list of nine global cities most likely to run out of drinking water” – FEARGAL SHARKEY
• “Water management is conflict management.” – AARON WOLF
• “We built water systems for a climate that no longer exists.” – SANDRA POSTEL
• “By 2050 Britain is facing a water shortage of 1.2 billion litres a day.” – FEARGAL SHARKEY
• “We have loaded the dice for more of these extreme events.” – SANDRA POSTEL
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DOOMSDAY WATCH was written and presented by Arthur Snell, and produced by Robin Leeburn – with assistant production from Jacob Archbold. Theme tune and original music is by Paul Hartnoll. Guitar sting by Kenny Dickinson. The group editor is Andrew Harrison. DOOMSDAY WATCH is a Podmasters production.