Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

It is not just tsunamis!

The terrible news from the countries affected by the tsunami, and the news reports coming from there are highlighting the problems of getting drinking water to many of the remote villages and the disease that will come when it does not arrive in time. One of the reporters held up a plastic bottle of water and commented that an adult needed 40 of those a day for all drinking, cooking and other personal needs. And the problems are that these locations have had water supply issues in the past. So where will it come from?

One of my colleagues (the one who described me as Santa's Younger brother without the beard) has worked to supply water to a small village in Guatemala and has, in the past, explained at length the problems of finding the water, and getting equipment in place that can drill down to get it. The price for a single well was amazingly high. And now looking at the vast numbers of people that must be given new sources of water, and for whom permanent facilities must be installed implies that we have not yet begun to grasp the magnitude of the problems that lie ahead.

Because potable water is becoming a global issue as the Christian Science Monitor points out in an article today, some creative ideas will be needed. The idea of dragging large bags of water around has more potential than an earlier idea in which folk tried to tow icebergs. An editorial point here - a colleague was involved in a project to look at this and most of the "facts" that came up as I looked for a good site to act as a reference have them wrong. Doing it the right way makes it possible - though likely not as good as the baggie idea.

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