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SNS: Preventing World War Water

SNS: Preventing World War Water


In This Issue
Vol. 26 Issue 12

Preventing World War Water

  • Quotes
  • Flow and Interaction, Again
  • The Uses and Abuses of Water
  • Sourcing Our Water
  • Dammed If You Do
  • Creative Solutions
  • In Summary


“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.”
– Jacques Cousteau

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”
– W.H. Auden (First Things First, 1957)

“Long ago Mars was an oasis of running water. Today the Martian surface is a sterile, barren desert. Here on Earth, who knows what climactic knobs we unwittingly turn, which might one day render Earth as dry and lifeless as Mars.”
– Neil DeGrasse Tyson, (From the cover of Old Poison, by Joan Francis)

“The wars of this century have been on oil, and the wars of the next century will be on water… unless we change the way we manage water.”
– Ismail Serageldin, Former Vice President, World Bank (Speech in Stockholm, 1995)

Flow and Interaction, Again

Regular readers will recall that a key concept here at SNS is that of flow and interaction defining global outcomes. Whether in reference to money (flow economics) or energy (global Earth systems), the two factors are a useful lens for understanding both where resources are moving and what interactions that motion will cause.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of water. While there is much to be said about the role of the entire water cycle and its components in human life (indeed, as even non-scientists are now aware, healthy oceans define our ability to thrive as a species, from food sources to the air we breathe), there is one component in particular that we truly cannot do without: fresh water.



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