The Globe

Water, Water Everywhere


Listen to the Session:

      1. http://www.sej.org/sites/default/files/webform/conf11/CS1GLOBE.mp3
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Management of the quantity and quality of water available to people both in America and around the world is an issue affecting everyone in a variety of ways.

These days water is always an issue.

“There is a water story, I would argue, everywhere,” said Peter Gleick, president of Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security and author of The World’s Water. “Water is a huge topic, it is connected to everything we care about.”

The fact that water is important is not a new or debated issue, what is being discussed is the problems we as human beings are having in managing our most important resource.

Droughts in places such as Texas or Australia contrast with the parts of Central America that have recently had 60 inches of rainfall in just 10 days. These extreme weather patterns are caused by climate change, but many people are ignorant about water issues.

“People in general don’t know where their water is coming from,” said Gleick.

Valerie Nelson

Valerie Nelson, director of Water Alliance, however, believes this is beginning to change.

“I think there is a rapidly increasing understanding that we have not looked at water properly recently,” she said.

She offers encouragement and advice on how this situation could be handled. Nelson believes that we (people) need to use this water and economic crisis to change the way we are doing things.

“We need to take a much more complex view of things we are trying to achieve,” she said.

There is agreement that the general public need to be better informed and more involved. Bradley Udall, a University of Colorado researcher, thinks that the “general public need to be brought into the discussion.”

Udall referred to climate change too and how it was inseparable from water issues.

“Climate change is really water change,” he said.

He also referred to his novel way of thinking when it came to water conservation and management and explained this with a quote from Kentucky conservationist Wendell Berry;

“Do unto those downstream as you have those that are upstream do to you.”

 


  

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