让水土保持产生经济效益

纽约——或许这是我们时代的标志。极少有哪个月水资源危机没有登上哪个国家的头版。8月初,农田排水导致伊利湖赤潮爆发,污染了俄亥俄州托莱多的饮用水。9月,中国河南省水库干涸,导致庄稼枯萎并迫使部分居民从水坑里取水。10月下旬,印度海德拉巴市发现该市供水水源可能在明年被转为上游农业用途,致使该市的八百万居民不知道要从哪里去找每天所需的1亿9千万加仑用水。

市政官员往往通过升级水利基础设施(也就是钻井、筑坝和铺设管道)来应对上述供水危机。每天,全球最大的100座城市都要将320万立方米水移动5,700多公里,以解决当地的水资源短缺和污染问题。但这种方法代价昂贵,只有最有钱的城市才用得起。这种方法还挑起城市管理者和环保主义者之间的矛盾,后者要求限制兴修水利,以缓解对森林和流域造成的压力。幸运的是,这种方法并非唯一。

事实证明,大自然可以在水资源运输及治理方面发挥重要作用,而这种作用现在基本没有发挥。从源头保护水资源比污染后治理更加经济有效。我在大自然保护协会、C40气候变化领导小组和国际水协的同事在新发布的报告中证明投资于森林保护、植树造林、改变农业传统和森林防火管理等领域可以减少污染物流入饮用水。

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