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Consider the coming angst about water.
Saudis Worry as They Waste Their Scarce Water. Saudi Arabia’s shallow aquifers are quickly disappearing. By Craig S. Smith. [New York Times: Science]
It’s not just a problem for desert nations. Viz urban – rural water battles in Caliifornia, which could pull the plug on an agricultural cornucopia; southwest US tug of war over Colorado River water; Israel / Palestine / Jordan / Syria disputes over the Jordan River; and more.
Petroleum dependence will wane, thanks to efficiency, substitution and new technologies. Water dependence can be reduced through efficiency, but water is not substitutable in living systems. The infinite substitutability of classical economics, alas, ends here.