May be Malthus would give a dry smile after all. More than two centuries after he made his dire prophecies that population will soon outstrip food supply, his ideas are finding application in a different way. The two dimensions that have emerged dangerously corroborating him, have been energy and water. While the spectre of petroleum reserves running out have been well documented, the looming water crisis is silently ignored. 33% of the world’s population lives in water-stressed countries now. By 2025, this is expected to rise to 66%. Scaringly, water consumption in the last century grew 6 times (from about 650 cubic km in 1900 to close to 4000 cubic km in 2000) – that is more than the rate of population growth.
The amount of water used by agriculture today will almost double by 2050 and since it uses 70 times more water than is utilised for other purposes (drinking, cooking, washing and bathing), the situation might become acute.
Immediate action is then warranted by national governments to prevent aggravation of the impending crisis. Malthus doesn’t need resurrection in any form, whatsoever.