Mejores respuestas ante la escasez hídrica

CAMBRIDGE – En California, se está multando a los consumidores residenciales que malgastan agua: la idea es reducir el consumo en un 20%, en el marco de la lucha contra una grave sequía. El problema es que el de tipo residencial representa menos del 15% del consumo total: el resto se destina principalmente a la agricultura. Incluso si se lograran las metas a las que se apunta, no representarán menos del 3% de la demanda total: una gota en un balde casi vacío.

Mientras tanto, 30.000 trabajadores en China intentan cambiar las condiciones climáticas sembrando nubes desde aviones o bombardeando el aire con proyectiles antiaéreos, con la esperanza de provocar algo de lluvia. No hay pruebas estadísticas de que este tipo de manipulación climática funcione, pero los sembradores de nubes también están a tiempo completo en Estados Unidos, especialmente en el oeste.

Estas inútiles medidas son lo que yo llamaría “placebos políticos”: intentos de los gobiernos de demostrar a su ciudadanía que están haciendo algo (¡lo que sea!) por aliviar la escasez de agua. Puede que los placebos tengan sentido en el ámbito médico, pero acaban haciendo más mal que bien si distraen los esfuerzos por curar la enfermedad. Aplicar medidas parecidas a las de California es como decir a los policías que hagan sonar sus sirenas siempre que conduzca para que la gente tenga la impresión de que se está combatiendo el crimen. A medida que el cambio climático provoque sequías más prolongadas y graves, la falta de agua resultante exigirá soluciones nuevas y a veces difíciles de tomar, que vayan más al grano que estos fútiles intentos de aplacar a la gente.

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