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The Disappearing Waters

It’s Time To Open Our Eyes For Texas And The Whole World

The Texas Drought Project (TDP) brings together experts in farming, ranching, hydrology, civil engineering, climatology, and environmental science to present forums in key regions most affected by drought.

Maude Barlow is a former UN Senior Water Advisor, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, founder of the Blue Planet Project, and serves on the board of the Texas Drought Project. In a speech to the Environmental Grantmakers Association, Barlow said – in part – ” … We are polluting our lakes, rivers and streams to death. Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s water …. The amount of wastewater produced annually is about six times more water than exists in all the rivers of the world. … 80% of the world’s rivers are now in peril, affecting 5 billion people on the planet. We are also mining our groundwater far faster than nature can replenish it, sucking it up to grow water-guzzling chemical-fed crops in deserts or to water thirsty cities that dump an astounding 200 trillion gallons of land-based water as waste in the oceans every year. The global mining industry sucks up another 200 trillion gallons, which it leaves behind as poison …. A recent global survey of groundwater found that the rate of depletion more than doubled in the last half century. If water was drained as rapidly from the Great Lakes, they would be bone dry in 80 years … we suck the remaining waters out of living ecosystems and drain remaining aquifers in India, China, Australia, most of Africa, all of the Middle East, Mexico, Southern Europe, US Southwest and other places. Dirty water is the biggest killer of children; every day more children die of water borne disease than HIV/AIDS, malaria and war together … dirty water kills a child every three and a half seconds … By 2030, global demand for water will exceed supply by 40% – an astounding figure foretelling of terrible suffering.”

New research indicates that areas of the state of Texas once thought to be “safe” from the effects of drought are, in fact, not safe at all. The Natural Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) list of the top ten American cities in water jeopardy includes three cities in Texas alone.

The NRDC report released in July sited population growth, rising temperatures, and changing rainfall patterns are poised to wreak havoc on the country’s water supply, leaving one in three counties facing high risks of water shortages by 2050.

That report placed Texas front and center of the expected shortfalls, especially when the state’s population growth is expected to rise from 20.9 million in 2000 to 45.6 million by 2060. That, along with care-free industrial discharging of large amounts of toxins and pollution into the environment. Which is fervently defended and kept legal, by the state’s reigning (apparently for life), dictator … oops … governor Rick Perry.

The NRDC ten biggest American cities that are running out of water :

1. Los Angeles, CA
2. Houston, TX
3. Phoenix, AZ
4. San Antonio, Texas
5. San Fransisco Bay Area, CA
6. Fort Worth, TX
7. Las Vegas, NV
8. Tucson, AZ
9. Atlanta, GA
10. Orlando, FL

But every black cloud has a silver lining. As Barlow spoke about a new paradigm utilizing an old concept called the Commons “…The Commons is based on the notion that just by being members of the human family, we all have rights to certain common heritages, be they the atmosphere and oceans, freshwater and genetic diversity, or culture, language and wisdom. In most traditional societies, it was assumed that what belonged to one belonged to all. Many indigenous societies to this day cannot conceive of denying a person or a family basic access to food, air, land, water and livelihood …. the notion of the Public Trust Doctrine, a longstanding legal principle which holds that certain natural resources, particularly air, water and the oceans, are central to our very existence and therefore must be protected for the common good and not allowed to be appropriated for private gain …. In a “debt for nature” swap, Canada, the U.S. and The Netherlands canceled the debt owed to them by Colombia in exchange for the money being used for watershed restoration. The most exciting project is the restoration of 16 large wetland areas of the Bogotá River, which is badly contaminated, to pristine condition. Eventually the plan is to clean up the entire river. True to principles of the Commons, the indigenous peoples living on the sites were not removed, but rather, have become caretakers of these protected and sacred places.

So, the solutions are known and do-able, what we all need to do is to roll up our sleeves and jump into the fray, for our planet, her creatures, and the children …

as the green future unfolds.

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3 Responses to “The Disappearing Waters”

  1. Tony Says:

    If the earth loosing water or the water just disappeared in the earth. We are dead !

  2. Lissof Says:

    Just look at Haiti, and the need for safe drinking water will highlight the potential risk we place the future populations in, for our lack of care we give Mother Earth today.

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof …. So true! the way we are going, we are going to suck her dry!

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