Published by Kerry on 15 Oct 2010 at 08:46 am
Water is fundamental to life itself. This Blog Action Day, we share one action you can take and a few places you can learn more about this precious resource. Then WiserEarth editor and long-time water advocate Frank Patton explores our interaction with and the future of water.
Today we’re spotlighting an action that you can take to protect marine life and defend indigenous rights in Papua New Guinea, from a toxic waste dump into the nearby ocean by a Chinese mining company. Go here to send a letter of protest through the organization Cultural Survival.
Here are a few resources to get involved with other water issues:
Become a Water Warrior: Global Water Challenge connects you to water news and ways to spread the word about safe water access.
Support the conservation of watersheds in your region, e.g. this plan by the British Columbia government.
Explore WiserEarth Areas of Focus around water.
Support water wells in Africa through charity: water.
And now, some thoughts from a veteran in water activism.
Guest post by Frank Patton
“We are not running out of water, there’s enough to go around,” is sometimes overheard.
If a growing population of humans needs more water in one place, we just move the water to them… it’s as simple as that. But is it?
There are many questions to address. Is there really enough water? How will climate change affect supply? Is the growing human population using so much water that others in earth’s ecological soup go without? Is that fair?
Do we have the capacity to really understand how our ever-increasing numbers are changing everything that presently lives on this planet? Will our brains, in the long run, be the reason for our demise? Maybe.
A basic human and ecological need
Water is the binding force that makes it possible for all the relationships that life on this planet depends on. We can do without oil, we did exist before we knew how to make use of it, we can do without electricity, we did without it for thousands of years, but we have always and will always need water.
No, we will never “run out” of water, but we will stop having access to clean water, if we continue to increase in population and that population continues to misuse it. We are going to have to make drastic changes to keep our ever-advancing demands in check – for we can’t keep going down this road.
The promise and perils of technology
As the consequences of a growing population take their toll, we adapt through the use of our technology. This technology also drives most of the economies of the world. For example, we move vast amounts of products made possible by technology across vast distances – traveling over water. We use technology to build vast storage systems to accomplish our objectives of using more water.
We use our technology to understand how the oceans affect the weather all over the earth, which affects access to water. We use the term weather forecasting: we try to predict what is going to take place in the future. We make plans based on those predictions. That kind of technology modeling is a start, but it’s just a start. We need to use technology in a more encompassing manner so we can foretell how our collective behavior will affect earth’s ecological soup in the future, so other things won’t go without. Isn’t that only fair, or is fairness out of the question?
Technology and the stuff we create out of it is what got us into this mess in the first place. Now, because we depend on technology totally, it just might be the only thing that can get us out of this. Now that’s the irony of ironies.
Photo by gfrphoto
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