China Has Lost 55% Of Its Most Valuable Resource

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

A few days ago I had a conversation with the Chief Operating Officer for our agricultural fund in Chile.

We were discussing water, and he told me that roughly 60% of California right now is suffering “extreme drought” conditions. 30% of the state is in “severe drought”. And 10% of the state is only under “drought”.

In other words, roughly the entire state - the 8th largest economy in the world – is facing a severe shortage of water.

But if you think that’s bad, China is about to take over the spotlight yet again.

A study by China’s Ministry of Water Resources found that approximately 55% of China’s 50,000 rivers that existed in the 1990s have disappeared.

Moreover, China is over-exploiting its groundwater by 22 billion cubic meters per year; yet its per-capita water consumption is less than one third of the global average.

This is astounding data.

More than 400 major cities in China are short of water, with some 110 facing “serious scarcity”.

Beijing and other northern cities get most of their water from underground aquifers. Over the last five decades, China has had to drill increasingly deeper to gain access to water.

Another challenge China faces is logistics. More than 60% of China’s water is in the southern part of the country, but most of the usage is in the north and along the coastlines.

When you consider that this is a country that has almost one fifth of the world’s population and is soon to become the world’s biggest economy, this is rapidly becoming a global problem.

The Chinese are of course well aware of this and are trying to mitigate the consequences by diversifying internationally, or as I call, planting multiple flags.

In China’s case, it’s a ‘water flag’.

Since the most efficient way to save water is not to use it, a sensible strategy is to import water-intensive goods and commodities. Corn and wheat are great examples.

China has been acquiring land across Africa and South America; last week when I was in Ethiopia, the place was crawling with Chinese delegates in the ag business.

The goal is to increase China’s food supply, reduce its dependence on the US for grain imports, and reduce its domestic water demand.

China has the economic capacity to do this. Most nations don’t.

Globally, some two billion people face a water deficit, and dozens of countries have to import water.

Throughout history, water has been the most important resource in the world and a major cause for conflict.

As far back as the ancient Sumerians, wars would break out over control of water supplies in Mesopotamia.

Today, 47% of the world’s non-polar land mass is supplied by rivers shared by two or more states simultaneously. This is an always present but latent source of potential conflict.

We can see that in South East Asia where the Mekong countries bicker over who has the right to build dams and otherwise exploit the river.

All of those countries, plus Bangladesh, India and Myanmar are furious with China’s plans to commandeer more of upstream river sources for itself.

In Ethiopia, where I was just a few days ago, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile is causing a major diplomatic row with Egypt.

The Egyptians see themselves as the historical “rightful owners” of the Nile River, and they’re in desperate need of the water.

Water availability has enormous political, military, economic, and social implications. And it’s foolish to simply sweep this reality under the rug.

My guess is that tens of thousands of our readers may live in a city experiencing severe water shortages. It’s easy to ignore the problem and trust politicians to fix it. But this is a dangerous course of action.

First of all, stock up. Water keeps, so you won’t be worse off for having a little extra in case there’s a small disruption.

Bigger picture, it may make sense to consider a small bolt hole in a country with abundant per-capita water resources (Georgia, Uruguay, parts of Chile, etc.)

And for investors, owning productive agricultural property in these locations will likely prove to be an excellent investment as farmland in many parts of the world dries up.

More on that another time.

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JustObserving's picture

There will be massive food inflation but the geniuses at the US BLS will easily fix that. BTW, GMO foods require twice as much water. Half for the food and half to poison you with.

ACP's picture

Speaking of droughts, if you want an entire plane to yourself, fly Malaysia air:


Pool Shark's picture



"China Has Lost 55% Of Its Most Valuable Resource."

Well, they need to retrace their steps and try to remember where they last saw them... they'll turn up eventually...

AssFire's picture

Bullshit doom and gloom....Yes, same thing happened here 50-70 years ago: Dams; the USA now has about 60,000 of them.

So it is retained water, not lost resources.

Pool Shark's picture



Now that you mention it, I think Janet Yellen has a lot of retained water. Maybe we should fly her to California...



Pinch's picture

The emerging worldwide droughts are linked to global warming, but of course the deniers here at ZH never mention it. Idiots.

Mark me down, tools.

Ginsengbull's picture

Inland China has been desert for a long time.


Thousands of years.


Global warming...idiots.

LFMayor's picture

Dune.  Arrakis.  Desert Planet.

Her water debt will be paid to the sept.

Spumoni's picture

Where's Tank Girl when you need her?

roadhazard's picture

Yep, Three Gorges dam absorbed a bunch of them.

magnetosphere's picture

moreover if a river disappears it doesn't mean it stopped raining.  maybe the water is being used instead of running into the ocean. 

SAT 800's picture

Losing your car keys is one thing; but losing a river, that's darned careless.

giggler321's picture

Well u can kind of understand it - I mean with all those dead pigs and rivers of blood, it is hard not to miss the water

Oldrepublic's picture

Am Australian woman was recently raped on a half empty KL to Paris Malaysian air flight by the Chief steward. He now awaiting trial in a Paris prison

Paveway IV's picture

Kind of like the CDC 'fixing' studies that proved a four-fold increase in autism from vaccinations? You know - the explosive whistleblower revelations a couple of days ago?? Hey, if CNN censors the subject, then it's worth reporting. 

JustObserving's picture

Autism caused by MMR vaccine: CDC cover-up exposed by CDC whistleblower

Autism rates are increasing drastically and so is the $52 billionvaccine industry. But now, CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson has broken his silence and come forward to reveal the truth about theMMR vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella vaccination) and autism connection. According to a Global Research report on Aug. 23, CNN deleted the extremely “news worthy” story about Dr. William Thompson.

Paveway IV's picture

Autism... Thirst... 

I would have to go with China on this one. I'm pretty sure the Communist Party of China would blush at CNN's awkward censorship attempts.

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

These Assholes (CDC) would have you believe that there is no money in vaccines, that the government has to exhort Big Pharma to even make the shit, and that this is a big, misunderstood global-sized altruistic endeavor.

I say follow the money.....find the truth.

Pool Shark's picture



Funny how a completely preventable disease like AIDS gets all the attention, research and money; while Autism (which will affect 1 in very 104 boys) gets covered-up by CDC.

Imagine if it were discovered that a commonly-administered drug were causing people to contract AIDS, and the CDC were caught covering-up that fact...

Evil bastards...


JustObserving's picture

Autism rate in USA now is 1 in 42 children per Stephanie Seneff of MIT.  She predicts 1 in 2 children will be autistic by 2025,  Don Huber of Purdue predicts that by 2020.

Boys are 3 times more likely to be autistic than girls.

froze25's picture

Boys have a weaker blood brain barrier than girls do at that early age.  That maybe a factor. 

LFMayor's picture

Goink a Palooza.

Bullish for car magnets and telethons and ice-water challenges.

Freddie's picture

I would not believe any statistics from ANY US universities.  The corruption with research grants in US universities is mind boggling.  Hundreds of billions usualy for worthless research and projects.  This includes the top schools medical and biotech research.   

Overfed's picture

My stepson is (high-functioning) autistic. He was perfectly normal until after....wait for it....a round of vaccinations around age four or five. It's a tough choice; take your chances with dread diseases or risk making your kid autistic. Too bad people don't really have much of a choice.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I think children are overwhelmingly over vaccinated today.

Today the CDC recommends:

26 doses of 9 vaccines by the first birthday
48 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6
and a total of 70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18

In 1983, CDC recommended:

11 doses of 4 vaccines by the first birthday
22 doses of 7 vaccines by age 6
and a total of 23 doses of 8 vaccines by age 18

This is wrong. A child's immune system is establishing self vs non self. It is a critically important time in his life. I honestly believe there is a direct correlation to autism. My husband was raised a Christian Scientist and had no vaccinations. He was a healthy farm boy and lived through the mumps. I had every vaccination under the sun and was plagued with asthma and constant colds. Anecdotal? Yes, but more and more research is showing a relationship. Give your child good food, plenty of play outside and if you must vaccinate, do it as late as possible.


luckystars's picture

According to Jewish kids have a much lower rate, and they go to Jewish clinics for vaccines.

froze25's picture

Thank you for posting this.  Keep posting it everywhere.  The word must get out this information must become common knowledge.  Big pharmaceutical companies use the medical industry to fear people into early vacation for there kids.  They prey on women through that fear.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Absolutely, considering I am the only one of 40 women at my job who has refused the flu shot for every of my 30 years of employment, I have firsthand experience with the fear tactics. They have now morphed into bullying. Every year it gets worse. But I won't back down.

It's a lonely road being a thinking, confident woman. Most women shun and despise you and men can't believe you exist.


Freddie's picture

Hang in there.  Your husband sounds like he is a lucky guy.  I remember getting the same type of pressure to donate to The United Way.  Obviously, your situation is a lot different and more serious.   I was told my career path would be affected at the time.   

Men having to work with women in a corporate environment is often miserable. Women working with women is many cases is usually much worse.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thanks Freddie,

I am so fortunate my husband is my best friend and has supported me all these years. I am honored to have the admiration of a good man and strive to keep it.

He suffers a lot from aggressive corporate women at his workplace who want the power but none of the responsibility to get a product out to customers in a timely manner. Working as a productive member in a team seems to be a challenge for them as they descend into backstabbing and throwing road blocks when problems emerge. Funny how they rarely take the initiative to solve these problems but are quick to hurl accusations at everyone. My husband often comes home so stressed I'm amazed we don't have multiple fist holes in our walls. I work endlessly trying to help him deal with them but I think he just wishes they would quit.

I, myself, work only with women. I am a Testiment that one can work without being under the influence of drugs, legal or not and have the intestinal fortitude not to go Postal under extreme duress.


the misanthrope's picture

Logged in to say I appreciate your postings..... thanks. always good to read your comments. all the best.

Ionic Equilibria's picture

Hi MM.  Are you familiar with David Skuse's work on sexual dimorhphism in human behavior?  

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Actually no but I do have a fascination with neuroscience and epigenetics. I am currently reading Buddhas Brain and Hardwiring Happiness. This man sounds up my alley. Thanks ;-)


Freddie's picture

I, myself, work only with women. I am a Testiment that one can work without being under the influence of drugs, legal or not and have the intestinal fortitude not to go Postal under extreme duress.


Many years ago, my single mom worked in an office and she was older.  The younger women were often very cruel and mean.   Try to get your husband to channel that stress to another place.   

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio (the biggest and one of the best in the world) swears by Trans Meditation.  He is also one of a few hedge fund managers who is not a creep.  TM can lower blood pressure and many other good things.  All the best and I enjoy your posts.

bh2's picture

But, but, but ... women are reputed to be so naturally cooperative and caring compared to men in the workplace. Come to think of it, though, the only persons I recall making that claim have been women.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Pretty well every effort to predict the future 20 or more years from now runs into the problem that the following charts are probably too optimistic:

Almost every issue one considers, from water resources to autism rates, follows basically similar patterns, where attempting to extrapolate a few decades LINEARLY results in rampant absurdities.

Although water is a renewable resource, the rates of use have been exponentially increasing, while our kind of civilization has no rational ways to cope with running into the real limits of being able to continue to do that, especially since our political processes are dominated by those with the most money, who were able to systematically distort everything in order to privatized the profits, while socializing the losses.

In that context, every kind of pollution tends to be systematically discounted, because those making the money from the processes which cause that pollution are able to then dominate the funding of the politics, in order to continue to allow them to behave in ways which are overall insane for everyone, even themselves too in the longer term, since their children are also vulnerable to the systematic accumulation of every kind of pollution, which can result in organic damage to the developing brains.

I am not aware of the statistics of the effects of pollution on Chinese children, however, there are lots of indications that China's economic growth was based on deliberate ignorance towards their pollution problems. China was forced to imitate Western powers, and now is approach various points of manifesting even greater levels of collective social insanities than Western countries do. For instance, China has made far more "money" out of nothing than any Western country. That kind of fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system does its best to deliberately ignore the basic laws of nature.


Every social institution has been systematically corrupted, and driven crazy, by them all operating through fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems, whose most important vicious feedback loops were through the funding of the politics.

Since the basic system of being able to make "money" out of nothing flows through the nexus of the funding of the political processes, to become the worst manifestation of privatizing the profits, while socializing the losses, being able to make "money" out of nothing drives social polarization, which then perversely enables even more social polarization, since the people privatizing the profits from the activities "paid" for with "money" made out of nothing can dominate the funding of the political processes, in order to insure that even more legalized lies are backed up with more legalized violence. Meanwhile that social polarization driven by a political economy in which "money" is made out of nothing is trumped by the destruction of the natural world, which results from that "money" made out of nothing being able to "pay" for strip-mining the planet's natural resources. In that sense, I see the links between the limits to the rates of renewability of water, and every other different way in which attitudes of evil deliberate ignorance operate with respect to the longer term consequences of pollution. However, I am not able to imagine any practical way to fix that problem caused by the vicious spirals of the profits from frauds being able to be reinvested in more frauds, through the funding of the political processes.

The central social fact is that our political economy is based on making "money" out of nothing to "pay" for everything, in ways which result in people disregarding the reality of natural world, in which nothing can be made out of nothing, and everything produced ends up as some form of pollution, which should not be ignored, but tends to be as deliberately ignored as it is human possible to do ... since the privatization of profits, and socialization of losses, is the crucial feature of our current economic system, which is stuck in vicious deepening ruts due to the funding of the political processes.

After facing that central social fact that our financial accounting system is fundamentally fraudulent, the next set of questions are the degrees of malice behind having made and maintained that system. These days, my answers tend to be that that the established systems have become such runaway vicious spirals of the "success" of backing up lies with violence that the accumulating levels of malice are practically demonic:

Question the disease diagnosis: bioweapons?

Freddie's picture

Jerry Brown said California is totally open to any and all illegals.  The Mexican President called California the other Mexico.

Nice job liberals and any Democrats still posting here.  A big F you docuhebags.  Let California eat cake.

Spumoni's picture

"Nice job liberals and any Democrats still posting here.  A big F you docuhebags.  Let California eat cake."


The idiocracy is real, and you're living proof. Be sure and let your grocer know how you feel when all the LibDems in Cali stop shipping your food across the country so that your sorry ass doesn't starve. I admit to understanding your disdain about Democraps - hard to tell them apart from Repugnants these days. Trouble is, fool, you and your kind just don't get it (and I'm not going to make it easy for you). Keep drinking the kool-aid that your political masters give you. Keep ignoring history. Keep avoiding training your mind to think critically. You'll be a corpse in the first wave, and the rest of us won't have to put up with your stupid tomfuckery anymore. 

The planet's future is reserved for those who understand that their personal idea-set is only a little thimblefull of the ocean, and that no one group has it all figured out. The predominant religious-political groups currently inhabiting this rock are slated for self- annihilation. Thanks for being a shining example of an endangered species.

sheikurbootie's picture

Please shake and bake California out of existence.  What a shit hole. 

Al Huxley's picture

Interesting, except for the plug at the end.

Ness.'s picture

Soooo, no #IceBucketChallenge's going on in China these days?

Ginsengbull's picture

Seeing pictures of ice bucket challenge probably demoralizes a lot of people in the middle east.

tonyw's picture

since the infrastructure has been destroyed and water is very scarce not to be wasted, the palestinians are doing a bucket of rubble.

Ginsengbull's picture

Very sick thought.



NYPoke's picture


Kirk2NCC1701's picture


"Something's Gotta Give"