The term peak water is derived from the concept of peak oil, with one promising difference: Unlike petroleum, the planet’s more-or-less constant supply of H2O continues to fall from the sky.
Peak oil describes that point in crude extraction when half of the earth’s original reserves will have been burned through. From the peak onward, oil production becomes ever more costly, and enters its terminal decline.
Peak water, on the other decline, indicates a condition, currently pertaining in vast regions of the earth, in which human water usage depletes the resource beyond nature’s capacity to replenish it.
Usage: “When you can’t take a sip out of the tap without breaking out in a rash, you’ll know peak water has come to town.”
Photo: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters