We take water for granted. It seems to be in boundless abundance and freely available for everyone. For such a common substance, details of its chemical and physical properties and its contribution to the functioning biosphere are less well known or understood. The lack of understanding of our water resource has led to misguided water regulation and misuse of the resource. Now, it is particularly important to comprehend the significant role of water in relation to inevitable climate changes in the 21st Century. This colloquy will address the basic properties of water and its significance for life, the history of water on earth, the human use and misuse of water, the geopolitics of water and where we go from here.
Philip Osgood is a Brooksville resident who enjoys being on or in the water and has a fascination with the medium itself. David Porter is a Brooklin resident, a retired teacher with a biological interest in all things watery. Both facilitators are concerned about the future of this resource.
Readings: Big Thirst by Charles Fishman, 2012; Drinking Water by James Salzman, 2017 (both available at Blue Hill Books)
We will also include resources from the UN World Water Development Reports and readings from the current media.
Session 1. The Science of water
Chemistry and physics of water
Unique characteristics of water
The universal solvent of life
Session 2. The History of Water
Water in the universe, solar system, and on earth
Water as an essential aspect of earth’s ecosystems
Session 3. Water as a human resource
Accessibility of water
Where is our water? Salt, fresh, underground, in atmosphere, etc.
Current survey of water resources
Human use and misuse
Session 4. The Politics of water
“Water rights” — Who owns the water?
Geopolitical controversies over water use
Water conservation issues
Water as a threatened resource
Water and climate change
Potential developments — crises versus solutions
Bookings are not being accepted yet
We will not be accepting registrations for Water: Its natural history and human abuse until December 31, 2021 at 12:00 AM.
Please check back after that date/time to register.