Share the water, share the love

Tim White

Considering that areas in the Midwest frequently end up under water, whereas areas in Africa have not seen rain in years, it is clear that water distribution is a major issue. It can be argued that water-rich areas should supplement clean water to the drier areas of the world.

From a socialist standpoint, it is quite easy to take this point of view. However, there are a few concerns to be addressed before discussing any sort of water “assistance.”

The first question to be asked is the matter of allocation. There would need to be some sort of International Water Committee in place to determine which countries needed what level of water support, as well as where that support would come from.

The IWC would also have to be responsible for a logistical system for the collection and distribution of the water. There would have to be some sort of enforcement agency in place for the committee, as discussions of this nature frequently turn violent. The most difficult challenge of the International Water Committee will be raising capital to fund the project.

If funding for this task were to become available, the committee would then have to carefully examine the ecosystems of the donor watersheds, so as not to disrupt the area by removing too much water. For example, our mighty, flood-prone Mississippi River certainly pumps ample amounts of fresh water to hydrate a great number of folks in desert regions.

If large amounts of that water were to be removed, however, the Bayou would dry up and the crawdads (Louisiana speak for crayfish) would not have a place to burrow. Without crawdads, the voodoo ladies would lose a major staple in their Cajun cuisine. The point is that water-rich areas possess environmental characteristics that are a result of being water-rich to begin with. If we remove the abundance of water from these areas, we risk irreparable eco-damage.

I am not opposed to the idea of a “Share the water, share the love” sort of campaign, however, I challenge the feasibility of some such program. In order for this to be successful, it would require a hefty amount to be spent on international negations, in addition to the capital that would be spent on the necessary infrastructure.

Considering the low percentage of fresh water versus salt water on this planet, I would feel more comfortable seeing that level of money invested in the development of desalinization plants.

In the meantime, perhaps we can get a group of high-schoolers to ship some cases of Poland Spring to African villages.