The relationships between places and past events shape human identity and provide memories that are a reservoir of pain and joy; they connect the chain of time between past and future. In addition to other characteristics, my place of birth, beliefs and ethnic roots all constitute a part of my identity.
We’re going to finally regulate and monitor groundwater, and we’re going to keep it all secret.
This article originally appeared on Reveal
A decade ago, reports began emerging of a strange occurrence in the Saudi Arabian desert. Ancient desert springs were drying up.
The springs fed the lush oases depicted in the Bible and Quran, and as the water disappeared, these verdant gardens of life were returning to sand.
The water-intensive nature of almond milk, of course, is no secret. By law, food manufacturers have to name ingredients in order of their prevalence in the product. For Califia and other almond milk brands, it starts like this: “filtered water, almonds.” Given that it takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond in California, where 80 percent of the world’s almonds are produced, drenching the finished product in yet more water seems insane.
So much water is being pumped out of the ground worldwide that it is contributing to global sea level rise, a phenomenon tied largely to warming temperatures and climate change.
Home to around 1,300 Palestinians, the village of Wadi Fukin sits in a fertile valley close to Bethlehem, right along the border with Israel. Driving along the only road that leads into town, I’m taken by the sheer size of the nearby Israeli settlement, Beitar Illit, built just to the East. White stone residential towers housing over 45,000 Israelis rise above on the hills as my car descends into the valley. The buildings slide down towards the village, ending in a towering wall built into the hillside that looms above groves of olive trees.
“The very success of a person as a politician is dependent upon resources that come from the people that you give exceptions to” – Michael Machado, farmer and former California State Senator.
After traveling more than 2,000 miles across California, it’s clear that the state’s drought is mired in paradox with decades of water mismanagement and regional fighting. While cities – some of which never installed water meters – struggle to convince its dwellers to conserve, agriculture consumes 80% of California’s water.
“If it materializes as planned, the Omo could be emptied in its entirety, which would mean that Lake Turkana might be destined to become Africa’s Aral Sea.”
Perhaps there is the chance that if John Wesley Powell had had his way, communities would have grown up with a different water ethic, one that considered longer term into the future than the next cycle of the plow.
The 117 miles long aqueduct was built in 1951 as part of the Central Valley Project to transport irrigation water from the Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta to the agricultural fields of Mendota.
“If you steal my water, I am going to be passionate about it”
More than 2,200 farmers in India committed suicide in the past four years, as water loss and drought drove them deeper into debt.
Over-allocation of the river’s waters 90 years ago combined with increasing populations and economic growth in the river basin have created circumstances in which conservation efforts — no matter how organized — could be too little to overcome the projected water deficit that the Colorado River Basin will face in the next 20 years.
“The NSW government will not stand by and allow the Commonwealth to take the lazy option which removes water from productive purposes in NSW”
From today, further water purchases for the environment will be restricted to three per cent per valley per decade, a more sustainable rate of purchase which will provide much needed breathing space and time for rural economies to adjust.
Neither Attorney General Gary King nor Governor Susana Martinez are backing down.
“Texas is trying to rustle New Mexico’s water and is using a lawsuit to extort an agreement that would only benefit Texas while destroying water resources for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans,” said King in a statement released by the AG’s office Tuesday afternoon.
“We are reviewing the Texas lawsuit and will decide how best to protect the water that is so vital to New Mexican families and businesses,” said the Governor’s spokesperson Enrique Knell. “We won’t cede a single inch of New Mexico water to Texas.”