The world supply of water is insufficient. A fact well known for years. Man is doing his best to develop means to avoid a life and death crisis.

Sand is important to man’s existence. Primarily for new construction (making of concrete) and the replenishment of shorelines where sand has been depleted because of storms.

Sand is gold. A natural resource. Only so much. Non-renewable. Presently in short supply. In researching the sand problem, I came across a comment that was right on: Sand Shortage – A Shore Thing!

The primary source of sand is river beds. The world presently uses 50 billion tons of sand a year. Twice the amount produced by all river beds. Clear evidence the world is running out of sand.

Forget desert sand. Too fine for any uses.

Where does all the sand go? What are its uses that take so many tons?

Cities are exploding world wide. More and more people moving to cities. More and more construction required to accommodate them. The U.S. a major real estate developer and user of sand. China way ahead of the U.S. From 2011-2013, China used as much sand for construction purposes as the U.S. had in all of the 20th century.

Fracking in recent years in the U.S. has increased the amount of sand used by the U.S.

Ninety percent of the world’s beaches have shrunk an average of 40 meters over the past 10 years, requiring sand to replenish them.

India a most interesting place. Sand a hot commodity. The field taken over by organized crime. Known as the Sand Mafia. Sells sand on the black market.

India’s Sand Mafia as well organized as a central American drug cartel. They employ 75,000 persons to dive for river sand. The 75,000 work a 12 hour day. Each dives up to 200 times a day. Drivers are paid a miniscule $15 per boat load.

Other sources for usable sand must be discovered.

Initiation of wars in Africa and the Middle East under consideration. To the victor goes the spoils. The excellent sand in those two areas will belong to the victor.

Man has to figure out how to use desert sand. How to treat and develop it so it will be the same quality and intensity as river bed sand.

Recycled glass a possibility. Glass is basically made from sand.

Transportation of sand from Mars to be used on Earth. It has already been determined that Mars has large supplies of blue sand usable for Earth construction.

Recent volcanoes a tragedy. However a benefit in the making. Black sand a result. A volcano’s emissions when dried become weathered fragments of volcanic glass.

Finally all else failing, construct buildings from wood rather than concrete.

Keep in mind that sand is a non-renewable natural resource. Once used, gone forever.

Man is not going to stop constructing concrete buildings. The U.S., China, etc. will continue to do so big time. Until there is no more usuable sand.

Those who have the wisdom to get into alternative building sources are likely to be the billionaires of tomorrow.


  1. This, just as other environmental problems like global warming, is another problem that won’t go away while many… wait for it… stick their heads in the sand.

    (Sorry… I just couldn’t help myself. I also wanted to post something to test the blog.)

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