Blue Gold Essay
This is a documentary about the ever increasing water crisis in our world today; what is causing it, the consequences, and how to stop it. Ecologists everywhere began to take notice of the “desertification” of our planet and the dire consequences ahead if it is not stopped. The urgency of this issue is one that cannot be brushed off because it is not us destroying solely the planet we live on, but destroying our chances of survival on it. Desertification of the earth is caused by taking more water out of the ground then is replenished in the natural cycle.
Over pumping of ground water is the main cause of the water crisis, caused by unregulated industry and agricultural use of it. As we dry up one part of the land we move to another, robbing nature of it’s ability to replenish. The water source is now gone and it’s never coming back. The only solutions to this specific part of the issue are the implementing of new laws regulating use of water by farmers and industries. The “use all or lose all” law that stands right now requires farmers to use all of the water divided out to them, even if it’s not necessary, or they lose their water rights.
We also need to turn our focus to water saving technology, creating more efficient water usage than what we have now. Finally, we must limit development and population booms in cities that cannot provide enough water for everyone. Pollution is also a major factor of this crisis. More kids in the world today are dying from water pollution than of AIDS, malaria, or even war. A huge part of this is the lack of wetlands in our ecosystem due to the human race destroying them (over 60% are destroyed worldwide).
Without wetlands, nature cannot provide the nutrients that detoxify water before sending it back out into the rivers and oceans. Therefore polluted water just becomes recycled, and no fresh clean water is ever produced. In order to reverse this process and let nature run it’s course we MUST protect our surviving wetlands, and help to recreate them by regulating underground water pumping. Government involvement is crucial, therefore on a local level citizens must demand conservation of water. The final major factor of the water crisis is the use of dams.
Dams prevent rivers from flowing to oceans, and they stop the natural process of nutrients in water being recycled. Rivers are like human veins and arteries, while dams are like blood clots. In order to restore the natural water process, the government must restrict and condense the number of dams in the US. We also need to find alternative energy sources that do not require the use of dams. The documentary relates very closely with my group’s topic for the town hall meeting: water conservation and sustainability in the cities of California.
All of these problems and imposed solutions tie into this. Division of water for population growth is a big one for California as the resources for highly populated cities such as LA begin to dwindle. Agriculture is also a huge part of California, almost 70%. Regulation of water in agricultural settings is crucial for our state to support as many people and ecosystems as it does. This movie was incredibly helpful in gaining perspective and becoming more educated about the water crisis, but most importantly, how to fix it.