“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink,” was the Ancient Mariner’s, mournful lament as he sat surrounded by water in a becalmed ocean he could not drink. It may come as a surprise to many that his fate is slowly becoming our own. And while he may have been becalmed by winds totally out of his control, our fate will undoubtedly be at our own hands.
Water everywhere is under attack. We are polluting it, wasting it and in many cases selling off our rights to control it to the highest bidders, who it turn may one day, sell it off to the highest bidders themselves. Imagine a world where water is taken from the United States, and sold to other countries, while Americans go thirsty.
Regardless of the fact that we need to adopt conservation and control of our water resources, we continue to live as if there will always be a tomorrow irrelevant of the fact the sources of fresh water that have existed for thousands of years are drying up. Our own great lakes are receding by feet each year. The world report card for water doesn’t look any better than ours; for water is in trouble everywhere.
In Russia the Aral sea is quickly becoming our newest desert while in Singapore the water they buy from Malaysia will soon be drastically reduced effecting millions of people, leaving it to turn to the sea for water. To use a desalinization process, that produces twenty percent drinkable water but yields a sixty percent brine solution that cannot be returned to the sea for it far too toxic and could very well start a large fish kill off.
And as India strives to meet the demands of a population that has flourished with the help of irrigation we may well be seeing one of the largest poisonings in our history. Thousands there drink from tube wells contaminated by natural occurring fluoride and arsenic. Wells supported by the WHO, ( World Health Organization) to help the people which should never have been drilled in the first place, but had to be, because surface water was so polluted.
It doesn’t look good anywhere and from all that I can see, its going to get a lot worse before anyone starts to do anything about it. Technological societies always think that at the last moment an invention will come along and save them. Like an episode of Star Trek or House where in the last five minutes the problem is solved and the patient saved. I can only hope so, for the clock is ticking and we have only one set of commercials left. Contact your congressman, visit you local water authority, ask yourselves what is the real cost of buying water in a bottle? We have to start somewhere, and if we don’t start with ourselves, we are all lost.
This week NBC will be asking us all to do things to go green. Remember one thing; nothing goes green, without water!
(For more information on this subject, check out the sources and book section of this blog)