The next great human dilemma is, without a doubt, clean, fresh water.
The ancient peoples of the notoriously arid Mediterranean region were masters of water use and storage. The Minoans, Romans, and Nabataeans, to name a few, built elaborate water storage systems to manage their extensive settlements. Underground cisterns were essential to the survival of these people, especially in the desert and/or in times of drought. Frequently, the only archaeological remains of many ancient buildings are the networks of vaulted cisterns that lay below the since plundered structures of a water conscious age.
These structures were created in a time where a ‘humane’ law, not one on paper, but more in the minds of the people, dictated that survival depended on building water storage facilities. It would appear that now, in an age where aquifers are going saline across our planet, and land is undergoing desertification at an alarming rate, people may need to enact actual paper laws to mandate the use of rainwater storage systems.
Rainwater is one of the only pure sources left at our disposal, and nobody is being asked or told to capture it. Gardeners, such as myself, are becoming keen on using downspout collection buckets. I collect rainwater in buckets at various strategic locations around my home. We have prodigious rains in summer time, almost every afternoon, and I feel that if we were to attempt to capture more of this resource, we would be able to significantly impact the current overuse of our Florida aquifer.
So, what we really should look into is making people aware of the necessity of capturing this resource through educational programs. Politicians should look into mandating rainwater collection. Builders should consider designing in currently available rubber collection bladders and cisterns into their plans and selling the concept to the consumer, who would be delighted to pay a little more on the front end to not pay the utilities on the back end, as is the case with solar energy and wind power.
Does any of this sound like a bad idea? Why would a person not want to make this issue a priority? Why are so many individuals still so reluctant to grab the reins and make a contribution to the health of our planet and it’s people? This is important and we are missing the ball here, folks.
And don’t get me started on population control… which would actually have a significant impact on future water use and abuse.