08.12.11Martha Golea

The Facts of Life

Iguacu Falls by Frans Lanting via NationalGeographic.comphoto by Frans Lanting via

The earth is flat, it’s the center of the universe, and it will always have plenty of freshwater for everyone.

Some things we accept as fact for so long that we would never bother questioning them. But when contrary evidence starts to pop up, how long will it take to convert our former tightly-held beliefs and adapt our lifestyles to the new facts?

The amount of moisture on Earth has not changed. The water the dinosaurs drank millions of years ago is the same water that falls as rain today. But will there be enough for a more crowded world?

From “Water Is Life” by Barbara Kingsolver in National Geographic’s Special Water Issue

I’ve read too many comments on blog posts this week that say unrestricted population increase is at fault for climate change, water shortages and a host of other environmental problems (one example)- naturally, these commenters conclude that restricting population is the solution to these problems.

Hold the phones.

Before we start outlawing babies, lets’s outlaw backyard swimming pools, golf courses, wasteful water features and long showers! The current population of the world counts wasting water as a recreational activity; for many, it’s their favorite hobby. So if the population never increased by one human life, we’d still have to worry about water scarcity.

What needs to happen and what is happening, in some cases (see Greg’s great post about new water legislation), is a major move toward a sustainable water future. Richard says the water management industry should lead the charge, I say this should be the next Space Race, with every country competing to make the greatest advances in water efficiency and sustainability.

To me it’s a dream, but some people are making it happen. Check out what normal people are doing to save the world, what Albuquerque did to shrink their domestic per capita water use from 140 gallons a day to around 80, and what the government isn’t doing to help: The Last Drop.

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Martha Golea

A seasoned communicator and passionate water conservationist, Martha Golea tracks projects in progress and reports on usage of new and exploratory irrigation technology and water management strategies. Martha also regularly contributes content on water management and conservation to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.




  1. Friday, 4:41 Alan Harris

    Great perspective! We have truly been in the Golden Age of Water Abundance in the US. Most people would have to go back 2 or more generations to find a relative who went to the well or used an outhouse. Technology led to water abundance and will once again lead us to another age of abundance. But like the Internet where we used to pay $9 a month for dial up and now we spend $50 or more for high speed, water will be much more expensive. Oops, I almost forgot, Water is Free. It’s the distribution and purification that costs money.

  2. Saturday, 11:13 Abdullah

    I think this is absolutely true. Earth has plenty of resources that are sufficient for everyone. It is the way and the way we conduct ourselves and manage our lives , that’s the problem.

  3. […] the idea of a renewable water source or hate the idea of drinking second-hand water? (By the way, all water is second-hand.) Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter […]

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