When we go through periods of droughts we also have other problems, which are increased. Things such as West Nile Virus, Bark Beetles, Disease Epidemics, Med Fly and realize these problems which occur during certain weather periods are compounded when the cycles get out of control. For instance an El Nino heats up the Pacific Ocean and expands the atmosphere and the jet stream is within the temperature and range to carry insects all the way across the ocean. Birds modify their stopping points for water during migration, stay in areas longer during the year or leave earlier thus their chances of infecting more areas are greater. When Deer travel further to go to watering holes during migration the come in contact with different livestock and humans. The Bark Beetle has a field day during droughts and the issues in Alaska, Prescott and Flagstaff, AZ are rather serious. Bark Beetle also reduces trees to fuel, which can start fire during lightening strikes.
This makes diseases hard to control and viruses hard to contain. Like their feathered friends, people also move and migrate, more and more each year and with them they tackle their problems to other parts of the country. And like the migration of people to different regions the water also moves over man’s line drawn in the sand and fought over or bought as official territory. Some of the water that we take for granted also belongs to our neighbors. In Northern Montana the river water flows into Manitoba, Canada. This is tough because Helena, Billings, Bozeman need the water, but it flows the wrong way. Along the Rio Grande the water does not reach the Gulf of Mexico except in extreme Hurricane years. That water is shared by farmers on both sides; Rio Grande situations and South West TX
The Colorado River flows into Mexico and is called the Colorado Mexican Delta and is under constant stress and complaints. Water supply is essential to keep civilization going strong, keep countries at peace, provide for life, food, security, peace of mind, strong economy, healthy populations and just about everything you can think of. Now then what happens once we are done with the water. Some returns to the ground water, but most goes down stream to a sewer treatment plant. The United States has some of the greatest sewer treatment facilities and technologies in the world. We have some of the highest standards in the world once the water is treated and returned. We are doing an excellent job in that regard where as in third world countries people die of horrible diseases from untreated water entering the drinking water of those down stream. Water-borne diseases include cholera, typhoid, shigella, polio, meningitis, and hepatitis A and E. Human beings and animals, which drink or swim in these contaminated waters will become hosts to the bacterial, viral, or organisms that cause these diseases. Billions of people on the Planet have little access to sanitary waste disposal, sewer treatment plants or to clean water for personal hygiene.
The average third world inhabitant in many parts of the World live on less that 4-8 gallons per day. About 3 billion people do not have a toilet. Over 1.2 billion people are at risk because they lack access to safe fresh water. The problem is getting worse in many places not better as run away population growth is not being figured into the solution.
Water-borne diseases, which the WTO calls “dirty-water” diseases, that is they are caused by water that has been contaminated by human waste, animals, or chemical and industrial wastes. The lack of sanitary sewer plants and waste disposal treatment centers and the lack of clean water for bathing, drinking, cooking, and washing costs the Planet no less than 12 million deaths annually. Diarrhea type diseases are a serious issue also, especially when, human waste is disposed of in open holes, ditches, canals, and water ways. This waste often flows directly into cropland. About 4 billion cases of diarrhea type diseases occur every year, which cause about 3.8 million deaths per year and most of those are children.
We are very fortunate to live in a country, which has adequate and above average sewer treatment plants. The sewer treatment plants are not the end of the flow, much of this water is used to water golf courses, municipal parks and/or flows into rivers on its way to the ocean. In countries where there are no sewer treatment plants the untreated water pollutes the fish which are caught and eaten and cause all kinds of bad diseases also. The Rice fields of the Pacific Rim are said to be polluted and much of the fish are now dangerous to eat. As we rebuild Iraq and help the people of Africa and children of the world the very priority and first order of business must be to look closely at the flow of water. Then and only then should we move to the next item on the agenda. Without clean water and healthy bodies, there is no way to feed the brain so it can be used by the people to help them selves into a better place.
The people of these regions need the strength to work, become productive, become educated and work with us to help them selves. And as we look at these other countries, we need to remember that much of what we take for granted is at a stress point and simply going with the flow may lead us to a place where the flow no longer goes. We know where we have issues and challenges and we must continue to be proactive and fix them and be ready for the next drought. I hope you have enjoyed this topic on the Flow of Water. Without water there is no human life and we need to address first things first.
Water effects us all no matter where we live, what we do for a living or where we travel to within the confines of this little blue sphere. It is from looking at challenges, such as the challenge of water supplies for a growing human population that we learn how best to solve the problems.
“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs