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The role for plastics in developing countries


Irrigation, drainage and water conservation

Plastic Pipes Conference Association # 1974 Southampton


There is a role for plastics in developing countries, but the current costs of petroleum products of course, reflect on the opportunities for plastics in competition with other materials. This of course, has been markedly influenced with the effect of the fuel crisis. Some months ago in Etheopia, a plastics factory shut down for a while simply because the supply of raw materials was cut off.

An important factor in man$developing ctluntrics is the cost of transport. Even though plastics materials may go up in price relative to other materials, if the freighting cost is a large element in its ultimate cost then this would favour plastics.

This session has been talking about irrigation and drainage, and my field is more that of water conservation: the use of water in developing countries. Of the world's total water resources, estimated at about 1500 million cubic kilometers, the available fresh water is about 0.3% of this -94% of the world's water is sea water. The available water is that which comprises the hydrological cycle and is available for interception. 

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