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December 19th, 2006
Drought, pandemic and waste mountains...
The global shortage of water is expected to have profound effects on Britain. By 2015, half the world's population is predicted to be living in countries that are "water-stressed". Increasing demand during hot, dry summers and large- scale leaks from an ageing pipe network could drive British farms out of business and lead to pressures to use undrinkable or "grey" water wherever possible. Within 10 years or so, however, membranes and sponges based on nanotechnology should be available to desalinate seawater and purify contaminated supplies.
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