By Jim Whitt
Retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal made an interesting point about Iraq in a recent speech: “They have a couple of big advantages — they have water, which for a country like that is a huge value, and of course they’re on a sea of oil.”
Note that he placed water ahead of oil when he talked about advantages. Both commodities are valuable but which do you read and hear about in the news? Oil, because it provides the fuel for the internal combustion engine which powers our vehicles. So, the price of gasoline is foremost in the public mind.
What would the sea of oil Iraq sits on be worth if they had no water? We take water for granted because it cost so little by comparison. But that will change quickly. In the not-so-distant future water will be the natural resource that we will most pay attention to in the news. Fossil fuels may be the driver of economies but nothing survives without water.
The two industries most critical to our success — and our survival — are agriculture and energy. Oil and water may not mix but they certainly go together.