is one of the most basic of all needs -- we cannot live for more than a few days
without it. And yet, most people take water for granted. We waste water needlessly
and don't realize that clean water is a very limited resource. More than 1 billion
people around the world have no access to safe, clean drinking water, and over
2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation service. Over 2 million people die
each year because of unsafe water - and most of them are children!
-- Robert Alan Silverstein
a global approach to this from all sides. We need to educate
people, we need the scientists to create new technologies,
we need the engineers to create the networks, we need every
human being to be aware of how precious water is and save
it. Everybody has to be involved in a very firm and assertive
-- Isabel Allende
Fierce national competition
over water resources has prompted fears that water issues contain the seeds of
I travel around the world, people think the only place where there is potential
conflict [over] water is the Middle East, but they are completely wrong. We have
the problem all over the world.
"Children of a culture
born in a water-rich environment, we have never really learned how important water
is to us. We understand it, but we do not respect it."
-- William Ashworth
have lived without love, not one without water."
-- W.H. Auden
The destruction of
aquatic ecosystem health, and the increasing water scarcity, are in my opinion
the most pressing environmental problems facing human kind.
is being depleted many, many times faster than nature can replenish it.
"Kids can help the environment by riding a bike. Always wear a helmet of course
and stay in the bike lane. Take public transportation with your parents and your
friends and see if you like that. That’s a good way to get around. Start a home
garden, be energy efficient, turn off the lights and the water. All of those things
are very good for the environment and good for your pocketbook. " |
a world that is truly fit for children does not imply simply the absence of war.
It means having the confidence that our children would not die of measles or malaria.
It means having access to clean water and proper sanitation. It means having primary
schools nearby that educate children, free of charge. It means changing the world
with children, ensuring their right to participate, and that their views are heard
and considered. It means building a world fit for children, where every child
can grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity."
"I have little
need to remind you that water has become one of our major national concerns."
-- Ezra Taft Benson, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1955
quality of water and the quality of life in all its infinite forms are critical
parts of the overall, ongoing health of this planet of ours, not just here in
the Amazon, but everywhere... The hardest part of any big project is to begin.
We have begun. We are underway. We have a passion. We want to make a difference.
-- Sir Peter Blake (1948-2001)
we talk of flood control, we usually think of dams and deeper river channels,
to impound the waters or hurry their run-off. Yet neither is the ultimate solution,
simply because floods are caused by the flow of water downhill. If the hills are
wooded, that flow is checked. If there is a swamp at the foot of the hills, the
swamp sponges up most of the excess water, restores some of it to the underground
water supply and feeds the remainder slowly into the streams. Strip the hills,
drain the boglands, and you create flood conditions inevitably. Yet that is what
we have been doing for years.
-- Hal Borland
we lived in a desert and our lives depended on a water supply that came out of
a steel tube, we would inevitably watch that tube and talk about it understandingly.
No citizen would need to be lectured about his duty toward its care and spurred
to help if it were in danger. Teachers of civics in such a community might develop
a sense of public responsibility, not only by describing the remote beginnings
of the commonwealth, but also how that tube got built, how long it would last,
how vital the intake might be if the rainfall on the forested mountains nearby
ever changed in seasonal habit ot amount. It would be a most unimaginative person,
or a stupid one, who could not see the vital relation between the mountains, the
forests, that tube and himself."
-- Isaiah Bowman
must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life
for future generations.
takes 1,000 tons of water to produce 1 ton of grain. As water becomes scarce and
countries are forced to divert irrigation water to cities and industry, they will
import more grain. As they do so, water scarcity will be transmitted across national
borders via the grain trade. Aquifer depletion is a largely invisible threat,
but that does not make it any less real.
A. Brown, Michael Renner, Brian Halweil
number of people displaced by dams is estimated at between 40 million and 80 million,
most of them in China and India. The costs of dams were on average 50% above their
original estimate. Some designed to reduce flooding made it worse, and there were
many unexpected environmental disadvantages, including the extinction of fish
and bird species. Half the world's wetlands had been lost because of dams.
-- Paul Brown
can use our scientific knowledge to improve and beautify
the earth, or we can use it to ...poison the air,
corrupt the waters, blacken the face of the country,
and harass our souls with loud and discordant noises,
[or]...we can use it to mitigate or abolish all these
an age when man has forgotten his origins and is
blind even to his most essential needs for survival,
water along with other resources has become the
victim of his indifference."
the physical realities of our planet does not mean
a dismal future of endless sacrifice. In fact, acknowledging
these realities is the first step in dealing with
them. We can meet the resource problems of the world
-- water, food, minerals, farmlands, forests, overpopulation,
pollution -- if we tackle them with courage and foresight.
have never believed we had to choose between either
a clean and safe environment or a growing economy.
Protecting the health and safety of all Americans
doesn’t have to come at the expense of our economy’s
bottom line. And creating thriving companies and new
jobs doesn’t have to come at the expense of the air
we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or
the natural landscape in which we live. We can, and
indeed must, have both."
air, the water and the ground are free gifts to man and
no one has the power to portion them out in parcels. Man
must drink and breathe and walk and therefore each man has
a right to his share of each."
~ James Fennimore Cooper
and air, the two essential fluids on which all life
depends, have become global garbage cans.
have the ability to provide clean water for every
man, woman and child on the Earth. What has been lacking
is the collective will to accomplish this. What are
we waiting for? This is the commitment we need to
make to the world, now."
is helping mothers realize their dreams for the future
— a future in which the basic needs for a child’s
survival: food, clean water and simple health care
— are guaranteed."
human should have the idea of taking care of the environment,
of nature, of water. So using too much or wasting
water should have some kind of feeling or sense of
concern. Some sort of responsibility and with that,
a sense of discipline.
14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
15 seconds, a child dies because of a lack of clean
water and sanitation. I should probably repeat that:
Every 15 seconds, a child dies because of a lack of
clean water and sanitation. A billion people on our
planet will never have a clean drink of water. There
are 2.5 billion people in the world without toilet
facilities. That kind of deprivation isn’t even on
our radar in the U.S., but in Africa it’s the central
preoccupation of many people’s lives. And the most
devastating thing about it is that it takes so little
to change it. Just $25 will give someone clean water
for life—yes, just $25 will change someone’s future
the naked eye, our oceans are beautiful. But scientists
tell us that all of the world's fisheries will collapse
by 2048, unless we change how we manage them. Help
protect our oceans so the next generation can also
enjoy their bounty.
objects are sometimes parties to litigation. A ship
has legal personality…The corporation…is an acceptable
adversary and large fortunes ride on its cases…So
it should be as respects valleys, ridges, groves of
trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive
pressures of modern technology and modern life. The
river, for example, is the living symbol of all the
life it sustains or nourishes – fish, aquatic insects,
water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and
all other animals, including man, who are dependent
on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or
its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological
unit of life that is part of it.
William O. Douglas
water and health care and school and food and tin
roofs and cement floor, all of these things should
constitute a set of basics that people must have as
know the worth of water till the well is dry.
~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
must treat water as if it were the most precious thing
in the world, the most valuable natural resource.
Be economical with water! Don't waste it! We still
have time to do something about this problem before
it is too late.
shortage of fresh water is the major ecological problem
of this moment.
like religion and ideology, has the power to move millions
of people. Since the very birth of human civilization, people
have moved to settle close to it. People move when there
is too little of it. People move when there is too much
of it. People journey down it. People write, sing and dance
about it. People fight over it. And all people, everywhere
and every day, need it.
was supposed to break down barriers between continents and
bring all peoples together. But what kind of globalization
do we have with over one billion people on the planet not
having safe water to drink?"
-- Mikhail Gorbachev
is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.”
-- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
many people that I've seen can't get clean water.
It's a crime."
I'm not just gon' go and do rap songs. I wanna touch,
and maybe help, and see what I can do in these areas.'
As I start looking around me, looking at things in
ways that I can become helpful, starting at the first
thing, water. Something as simple as water."
according to estimates from the United Nations and the United
States government, at least 40 percent of the world's population,
or about three billion people, will live in countries where
it is difficult or impossible to get enough water to satisfy
basic needs. "The signs of unsustainability are widespread
and spreading," said Sandra Postel, director of the Global
Water Policy Project in Amherst, Mass. "If we're to have
any hope of satisfying the food and water needs of the world's
people in the years ahead, we will need a fundamental shift
in how we use and manage water."
-- Douglas Jehl
water is a necessity that we can no longer take for
granted. Each year more people die of water related
diseases than any other cause of death on this planet.
With a higher rate of suffering and mortality than
diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, or war; or any
two combined for that matter! An entire economy is
growing around water. Those without money are suffering
the most and risk severe illness from contaminated
and technologies exist to provide clean, affordable
drinking water anywhere in the world. These solutions
will save lives, reduce financial burdens, foster
peace, and relieve millions of people from worrying
about their next drink of water.
one has the right to use America's rivers and America's
Waterways, that belong to all the people. as a sewer. The
banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or
one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should
belong to all the people."
~ Lyndon B. Johnson
we have not used our waters well. Our major rivers are defiled
by noxious debris. Pollutants from cities and industries
kill the fish in our streams. Many waterways are covered
with oil slicks and contain growths of algae that destroy
productive life and make the water unfit for recreation.
"Polluted Water—No Swimming" has become a familiar sign
on too many beaches and rivers. A lake that has served many
generations of men now can be destroyed by man in less than
-- Lyndon B. Johnson
that fails to plan intelligently for the development and
protection of its precious waters will be condemned to wither
because of its shortsightedness. The hard lessons of history
are clear, written on the deserted sands and ruins of once
-- Lyndon B. Johnson
we could ever competitively, at a cheap rate, get
fresh water from saltwater, ..(this) would be in the
long-range interests of humanity which could really
dwarf any other scientific accomplishments."
John F. Kennedy
in Government have begun to recognize the critical
work which must be done at all levels—local, State
and Federal—in ending the pollution of our waters."
we want to meet the obligations of our civilization
and our culture which are to create communities for
our children that provide them with the same opportunities
for dignity and enrichment as the communities that
our parents gave us, we've got to start by protecting
that infrastructure; the air that we breathe, the
water that we drink, the landscapes that enrich us."
we are fighting for is not just the fishes and the birds.
We protect nature not for nature's sake but for our own
sake because it's the infrastructure of our communities,
and if we want to meet the obligations of our civilization
and our culture which are to create communities for our
children that provide them with the same opportunities for
dignity and enrichment as the communities that our parents
gave us, we've got to start by protecting that infrastructure;
the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the landscapes
that enrich us. We're not protecting nature for nature's
sake. We're protecting it because it enriches us, yes, it
enriches our economy and we ignore that at our peril. But
it is also enriching us aesthetically, recreationally, culturally,
historically and spiritually. Human beings have other appetites
besides money. And if we don't feed them, we're not going
to grow up…we're not going to become the kind of beings
that our creator intended us to become."
agriculture now accounts for over half of America's water
ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise:
that the individual is a member of a community of
interdependent parts. . . The land ethic simply enlarges
the boundaries of the community to include soils,
waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the
companies now run water systems for 7 per cent of the world's
population, and analysts say that figure could grow to 17
per cent by 2015. Private water management is estimated
to be a $200 billion business, and the World Bank, which
has encouraged governments to sell off their utilities to
reduce public debt, projects it could be worth $1 trillion
by 2021. The potential for profits is staggering: in May
2000 Fortune magazine predicted that water is about to become
'one of the world's great business opportunities', and that
'it promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the
-- John Louma
has been a permanent dialogue between human beings and water."
-- Paolo Lugari (founder of the Gaviotas Community in Colombia
helped ancient man learn those first lessons about the
rights of others and responsibility to a larger society....
It became part of the moral and mental legacy parents
passed on to their children."
-- M. Meyer
luck and Good work for the happy mountain raindrops,
each one of them a high waterfall in itself, descending
from the cliffs and hollows of the clouds to the
cliffs and hollows of the rocks, out of the sky-thunder
into the thunder of the falling rivers."
is the most precious, limited natural resource we
have in this country...But because water belongs
to no one - except the people - special interests,
including government polluters, use it as their
over water would be an ultimate obscenity. And yet,
unfortunately it is conceivable... Water has been
a source over so many years of erosion of confidence,
of tension, of human rights abuses, really, of so
many in areas whose traditional water supplies have
been controlled and depleted by occupational authorities.
That must stop if we're going to be able to develop
a climate for peace.
Noor of Jordan
may be possible for a minority of humankind, albeit at
great cost, simply cannot work for the humankind. Our
kind of progress depends on lacerating the Earth, on gouging
out its riches, on stripping is life-sustaining skin of
soil and forest, on poisoning its pure air, on defecating
copiously in its pure water... the single most important
indicator of environmental decline is the extent to which
the damage done is reversible. The most heinous ecological
crime of all is for any one generation so seriously to
assault the web of life that the damage done is literally
irreversible for every generation that follows."
~ Jonathon Porritt
many of us, water simply flows from a faucet, and
we think little about it beyond this point of contact.
We have lost a sense of respect for the wild river,
for the complex workings of a wetland, for the intricate
web of life that water supports."
"Water is finite and we have not done a great
job of managing it in the past."
poisoned the air, the water, and the land. In our
passion to control nature, things have gone out of
control. Progress from now on has to mean something
different. We’re running out of resources and we are
running out of time."
wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water.
-- Ismail Serageldin, World Bank Vice President for Environmental
water is not an expenditure of Federal funds; clean water
is an investment in the future of our country.
-- Bud Shuster, U.S. Representative
left almost to the last the magic of water, an element which
owing to its changefulness of form and mood and colour and
to the vast range of its effects is ever the principal source
of landscape beauty, and has like music a mysterious influence
over the mind."
-- Sir George Sitwell
is the most basic of all resources. Civilizations grew or
withered depending on its availability."
-- Dr. Nathan W. Snyder
cleanup costs of polluting a river, injecting pesticides
into the ground water, or putting noxious gases into
the air have not been figured into the cost of the
manufacturing or agribusiness that put them there
in the first place. Historically, the economic incentive
has been to pollute."
always been a big advocate of tap water—not because I think
it harmless but because the idea of purchasing water extracted
from some remote watershed and then hauled halfway round
the world bothers me. Drinking bottled water relieves people
of their concern about ecological threats to the river they
live by or to the basins of groundwater they live over.
It's the same kind of thinking that leads some to the complacent
conclusion that if things on earth get bad enough, well,
we'll just blast off to a space station somewhere else.
-- Sandra Steingraber
than 5,500 large dams impede America's running waters, leaving
less than 2 percent of the country's 3.1 million miles of
rivers and streams flowing free. In the wake of these river
alterations trails a record list of endangered aquatic species.
Two of every three freshwater mussel species are heading
for extinction, or are already there; half of all crayfish
species are imperiled; more than a third of the country's
freshwater fish are in trouble -- 17 of them missing outright.
-- William Stolzenburg
is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is
no life without water."
-- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel
Prize Winner for Medicine.
we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through
the smog across the poisoned waters of our native
earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we
really wish some future universal historian on another
planet to say about us: "With all their genius and
with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and
air and food and water and ideas," or, "They went
on playing politics until their world collapsed around
lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive
feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the
beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
to think that energy and water would be the critical issues
for the next century. Now we think water will be the critical
-- Mostafa Tolba, former head of the United Nations Environment
to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife
are in fact plans to protect man."
is fundamental for life and health. The human right to water
is indispensable for leading a healthy life in human dignity.
It is a pre-requisite to the realization of all other human
-- The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and
when I was just a child that without water, everything dies.
I didn't understand until much later that no one "owns"
water. It might rise on your property, but it just passes
through. You can use it, and abuse it, but it is not yours
to own. It is part of the global commons, not "property"
but part of our life support system.
-- Marq de Villiers
1 billion people have no access to clean drinking water,
and more than 2.9 billion have no access to sanitation services.
The reality is that a child dies every eight seconds from
drinking contaminated water, and the sanitation trend is
getting sharply worse, mostly because of the worldwide drift
of the rural peasantry to urban slums.
-- Marq de Villiers
trouble with water—and there is trouble with water—is that
they're not making any more of it. They're not making any
less, mind, but no more either. There is the same amount
of water in the planet now as there was in prehistoric times.
People, however, they're making more of—many more, far more
than is ecologically sensible—and all those people are utterly
dependent on water for their lives (humans consist mostly
of water), for their livelihoods, their food, and increasingly,
their industry. Humans can live for a month without food
but will die in less than a week without water. Humans consume
water, discard it, poison it, waste it, and restlessly change
the hydrological cycles, indifferent to the consequences:
too many people, too little water, water in the wrong places
and in the wrong amounts.
-- Marq de Villiers
understands that in a world of ecological interconnectedness
there is no such things as “away.” We don’t throw things
“away,” we simply put them someplace where they defile the
land, foul the water, pollute the air or change the earth’s
-- Brian Walsh & Sylvia Keesmaat
cannot have peace without human rights, democracy,
gender equality, and clean water. Look to the root
causes of war and you will find, in their reverse,
the root foundations of peace."
is a blessing when it falls gently on parched fields, turning
the earth green, causing the birds to sing."
-- Donald Worster