Today was World Water Day. March 22nd 2016.
The event involved projects of all kinds with participating organizations and individuals all over the world contributing work. One section is the Ideas section. There are three pillars to the projects in the Ideas section, all associated with the twitter hashtag #WaterIs.
Water Is: Work
Water Is: Change
Water Is: Art
In the Water Is Art category, there were many incredible projects in every discipline of the arts. In particular though, this online exhibit by Flippant Media / Gallereplay caught my eye and I thought it was ideal to share in our blog because it is specific to the online medium. It is also shockingly informational and puts things in extraordinary perspective for those of us lucky enough to live with ample water availability.
One frightening statistic in this exhibit is about the world’s aquifers, two of which our city is built on top of. 20% of the aquifers on the planet are being overexploited and causing permanent damage to ecosystem that sustains them. My understanding is that an aquifer is an almost endlessly renewable resource if not overused, but when too much is pumped out of it the land begins to collapse and groundwater well casings are compromised. This article on Phys.org describes the problems here in California.
“We are pumping at historic levels,” said Mark Cowin, head of the California Department of Water Resources. He added that groundwater levels are dropping to record levels—up to 100 feet lower than previously recorded.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed historic legislation last year that requires monitoring of groundwater pumping. However, local officials have until 2020 and in some cases until 2022 to write their management plans, so it could take another decade or two before California has a handle on groundwater use, Cowin said.
“I don’t think we can end overdraft or subsidence overnight,” he said. “We do need to take action.”
In fact, NASA satellites have captured data indicating a massive global land subsidence problem and NASA scientists put the figure at two thirds of the world’s aquifers at risk.
Our local aquifers are tiny compared to the ones elsewhere on the globe. But still, we should do all we can to set an example for the rest of the world. As the home of the local Groundwater Guardians, Desert Hot Springs should rise to the forefront of this issue and speak out to our legislators in Sacramento and at the National and International levels.
Lets start planning our project for next year’s World Water Day now!