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The Global Water Crisis in Historical Perspective Nicholas Breyfogle Department of History The Ohio State University Image: ecology.com.

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Presentation on theme: "The Global Water Crisis in Historical Perspective Nicholas Breyfogle Department of History The Ohio State University Image: ecology.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Global Water Crisis in Historical Perspective Nicholas Breyfogle Department of History The Ohio State University Image: ecology.com

2 Quantity Quality Chronology Location Humans, flora, fauna What do we mean by Crisis? Photo: David Mixner; chart OECD

3 Intersection of the biological and ecological with the political, cultural, religious, economic, and social Solutions must address this complex intersection Two moments of significant change in human-water relationship Normal? What do we Learn from Water History? Image: Lake Baikal. Author

4 From Hunter-Gatherer to settled agriculture Water management techniques and engineering The Water Revolution I: 10,000-12,000 years ago

5 Human struggles to overcome water variability and to harness its power Increasingly sophisticated technologies Images: Creative Commons

6 The flourishing and collapse of civilizations: e.g. Angkor Wat Photo: Charles J Sharp

7 Industrial Revolution Water became interconnected with machines and fossil fuels (and later other energy sources) Globalization of water and water movement Water Revolution II 19 th and especially 20 th centuries

8 Change in human ways of thinking about water Should not waste nature Can improve nature: Faith that hydro-engineering can unleash bounty Water Dreamers

9 Agriculture and Groundwater/Aquifers

10 Groundwater civilizations: U.S. West (e.g. Ogallala Aquifer) Saudi Arabia Australia

11 EG: The Rhine Remaking Rivers and Lakes Source:

12 Hoover Dam Dam Building

13 Urban Water and Sewage

14 Death's dispensary A cartoon on the dangers of drinking water Reduction in water-borne Disease:

15 Pollution

16 1) Control Population Thoughts for the Future: What to do about Water Crises

17 2) Changes to agriculture 3) Water realists 4) Budget for cost 5) Focus on/Fund good science Photos: Byrd Polar; Really Natural

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