Drink Up

For some time now, I’ve had a casual interest in water policy. 
Huh?  Right, I know, I know.  Where’d that come from?  

I’m thinking about that very question this morning–where’d that come from.
It started with something I read in my MA program–probably Silko–about the
desert Southwest, battles over subdivisions in places where land is cheap and
water is invaluable (really valuable, that is).  Folks in the
Southwestern U.S., as I think of them, have been jockeying for aquifers since
the Hoover Dam "stabilized" the Colorado River in 1935. Seems to me Silko
mentions the art of fountain placement–of decorating the gates to new
subdivisions with trickling or bubbling statuettes–as a kind of deeply
persuasive appeal: you’ll be fine on this parcel of land; there’s water
here. 

This morning’s water news comes from an article in the New
Scientist
–one of the feedlines I set up a looong time ago (in July),
back when I had leisure time for reading stuff on the web, blogging–called
"Asian farmers sucking the continent dry."  It’s an interesting
report on the water crisis in Asia, the stakes for China and India,
particularly.  Carrying forward from the Stockholm
Water Summit
are moderate (and none-too-Doomsday, I say) concerns about the
inevitability of water crises resulting from drilling, tapping, pumping, 
irrigating, and self-regulated use.  The article cites details about urgent
zones or "hot spots," such as Gujarat, "where water tables are dropping by 6 metres or more each year, according to Rajiv Gupta, a state water official." 
It also suggests–to no surprise–the problem of shifting governmental stances
on large-scale resource management initiatives such as the River
Interlinking
Project in India.

The last Indian government proposed a massive $200 billion River Interlinking Project designed to redistribute water around the country. But the new government elected earlier this year has gone cool on the idea. In any case, the water supplied would probably come too late.

Much of this wraps together my casual interest, old conversations about
alternative energies, matters such as the role of petro-fired water pumps in
deep-reaching wells (vital for keeping Kansas uniformly arable, for example),
and dry places, diasporic exile (as in give ’em that hunk of
land
).  It also reverberates with some of the things I’ve been hearing
this week about SU’s program in cultural geography, projects such as mapping
hunger in Onondaga County (and surrounds?), for one. 

2 Comments

  1. Of course, “water policy” is one of the major subplots of “Chinatown,” although I don’t remember the specifics. And, in another version of “water policy,” several states, including Indiana, never flouridated their water in the 1950s because they believed that flouridation was a communist conspiracy.

    Interesting questions.

  2. I need to check out Chinatown. I’ve heard of it, but never rented it, never watched it.

    I knew something was screwbean with Indiana. Hoosiers, flouride and communism, eh? Zany 50’s! 😉

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