Here is the fourth and final newsletter in our first volume. We appreciate your reading and commenting.
Click here to download Water Newsletter 4
Over the course of the past couple weeks, we have been getting drenched with rain. Everyday, it is a constant disappointment to look outside and see the rain once again. Just last week, the Mississippi River flooded. This is not an unusual thing for the river, because it has flooded many times before. But, this time, the river was less then a foot under the record flood level of The Mississippi River. Right now, the flood is traveling down The Mississippi River and is making its way into the state of Mississippi. By the end of this month the flood is expected to have reached the Gulf of Mexico. The flood of The Mississippi River can have an extremely negative effect on humanity. The lives of the people who live near the river can be altered due to flooding of their own homes and their own personal belongings. Thankfully, this flood is supposed to be gone very shortly.
The image below is a photo from another persons blog. It shows a woman walking through the flooded streets caused by the Mississippi River.
The link to her blog is listed below:
Over the course of this term I have gained an appreciation for water that I have never had before. Every day people use water with out thinking about it. When brushing your teeth, washing your hands, cooking, watering the lawn, it is even used to make things we use everyday. Water is the key essential to life. My first article I focused in about water and its health benefits behind it. People need to consume about eight glasses of water to stay perfectly hydrated. Most Americans with access to potable water,just about everywhere they go, do not drink this much. Even the slightest dehydration effects humans. Symptoms are fatigue, hunger, and slow thought process. Sever dehydration can ultimately cause death. Many people in the world who are not as fortunate to have a clean drinkable tap water near by have to walk miles a day just to get enough drinking water to survive the day. Lots of the time the little water they can gather is not safe to drink and they risk their lives every time they have a sip of water. Potable water is a scarce thing in this world that the people who are privileged enough to have it should conserve and feel very lucky.
Water does not only have power over our bodies but it has power over the earth. Global warming is causing extreme weather all over the world. The carbon cycle has been thrown off because of the mass amounts of CO2 that we pump into the earth’s atmosphere everyday. This is making the atmosphere warmer, which is increasing the water cycle. More water is being evaporated into the air creating more intense weather. Air pollution is not our only problem we are also polluting the water and the many creatures that live in the earth’s water. What is on the ground is in the water. The amounts of pollution that get put into our water is messing up clean water for humans to drink and damaging the eco systems that live in water.
Life truly is revolved around water. Civilizations are built all determined on where their water supply is. Every living thing needs a source of water in order to stay alive. With out water we would never have existed. We need to keep our earth clean to keep the waters clean and keep the existence of life!
One critical issue the effect of water has on humanity is that the polar ice caps are melting. This is bad for several reason. One, this is fresh water stored in ice that just melts and falls into salt water. There is already a scarce amount of fresh water for humans to use and with the polar ice caps melting it leaves us with less fresh water to use. The polar ice caps melting also show us how we are emitting too much carbon dioxide into the air. Since 1973 to now, about half the polar ice caps are left. If we do not lower the amount of carbon dioxide that we emit, we are lowering the amount of fresh water that we can access in the polar ice caps.
A critical issue of the effect of water on humanity…
These past months, we have talked about several different water crisis. It is hard to pick out only one crisis to share with you, because they all have such a negative impact on the world. Right now there are severe floods around in the world making a lot of damaging, but there are also people who don´t have water at all. Is it not ironic? Some people need it, and others need to get rid of it in order to save themselves. If we only had magical powers to move around on the water where it is needed and not. We need water to survive, so maybe it is better with too much, rather than with not enough? A critical issue regarding water now is that there are so many people in the world who doesn’t have clean water, and who doesn’t have water at all – It is torture! This has been a problem for a long time. Even though we have great organizations supporting this problem, it will most likely keep being a problem in the future because it is effecting so many people, if not too many people. There is too much need in the developing nations, they need help, and we can help them. However, we can´t stop Mother Nature, we might be able to reduce our gas exchange but in the end we are powerless – Mother Nature will play its course.
Water is becoming more and more precious as its supply continues to be used throughout the world. Especially the amount of water poured into the agriculture is infinitely huge. Starting from past, water has been fundamentally supplied to agriculture, especially now that farming has become the most important part of human’s life; we would not exist without food. Moreover, this procedure will not change in the future and no others expects to be changed either. However, it is true that agriculture is slowly limiting the water supply all over the world, and without water, all these procedure will mean nothing.
Though the science data suggests that as a species human beings, particularly Americans, need to change their lifestyles in order to mitigate climate change, there are striking examples of innovators in our culture who are discovering innovated new paths and others who champion and model stewardship for the environment and the next generation(s) who will use of it.
New Partners: The first media is a clip involving surfers who are understanding the plastic problem in our culture and offering simply ways to rethink; notice how they feature the Story of Stuff star, Annie Leonard, and reconsider the “R” in recycle. Recall how Thomas Friedman taught us how 20th century environmentalist are discovering that new movements and partnerships are springing up from all segments of our culture.
I introduced Sarah Harmer in the winter term, and am pleased that this model of stewardship and her movement (PERL) has delayed quarry work in the Escarpment.
Check out this story of an individual who invented a new type of grass that requires less water: http://www.wbur.org/2011/05/13/uber-grass
This story models Friedman’s cry for innovation and illuminates how we can use an innovative mindset to try new ways to solve our problems. Though we perhaps already spend too much money and energy on our lawns in America, this new type of grass could help Americans balance their need for “green” lawns with the impact lawn care has on local ecosystems. It also interesting to note how Madnick uses the Scientific Method to solve his problem, but ultimately his mother was an early and important inspiration.
The Ogallala Aquifer is the major component of the High Plains Aquifer system in the central part of the United States, between the Rockies and the Mississippi River system. This aquifer has provided the primary source of irrigation water for America’s breadbasket since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Current research shows that the Ogallala is being depleted much faster than it is being recharged by rainfall or snowmelt in the region, including the east slope of the Rockies .
Dr. Kevin Mulligan, Associate Professor of Economics and Geography and Director of the, Center for Geospatial Technology at Texas Tech University, has been a leading voice in this research. Mulligan and his students have mapped the aquifer extensively, discovering that not only is it shallower in places than people originally thought, it is also being drawn down (often at a rate of 800 gallons a minute) faster than anticipated. In fact, they have determined that in many spots industry will run out of useable water (i.e., 30 ft of water or less) not by the end of the century, as predicted, but by 2030 – only twenty years from now. “This will certainly mean the end of pivot irrigation in the region,” he announced.