need a global approach to this from all sides. We need to educate people, we need
the scientists to create new technologies, we need the engineers to create the
networks, we need every human being to be aware of how precious water is and save
it. Everybody has to be involved in a very firm and assertive way.
Fierce national competition
over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of
I travel around the world, people think the only place where there is potential
conflict [over] water is the Middle East, but they are completely wrong. We have
the problem all over the world.
of a culture born in a water-rich environment, we have never really learned how
important water is to us. We understand it, but we do not respect it."
have lived without love, not one without water."
-- W.H. Auden
The destruction of
aquatic ecosystem health, and the increasing water scarcity, are in my opinion
the most pressing environmental problems facing human kind.
is being depleted many, many times faster than nature can replenish it.
"Kids can help the environment by riding a bike. Always wear a helmet of course
and stay in the bike lane. Take public transportation with your parents and your
friends and see if you like that. Thatís a good way to get around. Start a home
garden, be energy efficient, turn off the lights and the water. All of those things
are very good for the environment and good for your pocketbook. " |
a world that is truly fit for children does not imply simply the absence of war.
It means having the confidence that our children would not die of measles or malaria.
It means having access to clean water and proper sanitation. It means having primary
schools nearby that educate children, free of charge. It means changing the world
with children, ensuring their right to participate, and that their views are heard
and considered. It means building a world fit for children, where every child
can grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity."
have little need to remind you that water has become one of our major national
-- Ezra Taft Benson, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1955
quality of water and the quality of life in all its infinite forms are critical
parts of the overall, ongoing health of this planet of ours, not just here in
the Amazon, but everywhere... The hardest part of any big project is to begin.
We have begun. We are underway. We have a passion. We want to make a difference.
-- Sir Peter Blake (1948-2001)
we talk of flood control, we usually think of dams and deeper river channels,
to impound the waters or hurry their run-off. Yet neither is the ultimate solution,
simply because floods are caused by the flow of water downhill. If the hills are
wooded, that flow is checked. If there is a swamp at the foot of the hills, the
swamp sponges up most of the excess water, restores some of it to the underground
water supply and feeds the remainder slowly into the streams. Strip the hills,
drain the boglands, and you create flood conditions inevitably. Yet that is what
we have been doing for years.
-- Hal Borland
we lived in a desert and our lives depended on a water supply that came out of
a steel tube, we would inevitably watch that tube and talk about it understandingly.
No citizen would need to be lectured about his duty toward its care and spurred
to help if it were in danger. Teachers of civics in such a community might develop
a sense of public responsibility, not only by describing the remote beginnings
of the commonwealth, but also how that tube got built, how long it would last,
how vital the intake might be if the rainfall on the forested mountains nearby
ever changed in seasonal habit ot amount. It would be a most unimaginative person,
or a stupid one, who could not see the vital relation between the mountains, the
forests, that tube and himself."
-- Isaiah Bowman
must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life
for future generations.
takes 1,000 tons of water to produce 1 ton of grain. As water becomes scarce and
countries are forced to divert irrigation water to cities and industry, they will
import more grain. As they do so, water scarcity will be transmitted across national
borders via the grain trade. Aquifer depletion is a largely invisible threat,
but that does not make it any less real.
A. Brown, Michael Renner, Brian Halweil
number of people displaced by dams is estimated at between 40 million and 80 million,
most of them in China and India. The costs of dams were on average 50% above their
original estimate. Some designed to reduce flooding made it worse, and there were
many unexpected environmental disadvantages, including the extinction of fish
and bird species. Half the world's wetlands had been lost because of dams.
-- Paul Brown
can use our scientific knowledge to improve and beautify the earth, or we can
use it to ...poison the air, corrupt the waters, blacken the face of the country,
and harass our souls with loud and discordant noises, [or]...we can use it to
mitigate or abolish all these things."