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Water Wars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2005

    Water Wars

    In Diane Raines Ward's book, Water Wars, she gives an in-depth view into a variety of water problems that people around the world face today. The problems range from flooding to droughts and are found all over the world. Ward stated that when she was younger she did not even know of the problems she knows of now. This probably was the reason she was able to explain each idea clear to the reader. This book is also very novice friendly. Overall, the language used is simple. The ideas are clearly stated and then supported. You do not have to be an envirnomental expert to understand the ideas that Ward presents. There is also a glossary and abbreviation list in the back of the book to explain any terms that might not be common knowledge. I am neither an evirnomentalist nor an expert on water but with the glossary and abbreviation I was able to follow along with everything that Ward explained. I also was able to retain a lot of the information and statistics stated because it was written almost as a story. Each idea was fully explained with easy transitions between two different ideas. In the Introduction, Ward gives shocking statistics about water related deaths taken from several sources. She points out that people today fight and die over clean water. Raw sewage is being dumped into drinking water all over the world, leading to major health problems. In a part of the former Soviet Union, ward states that the life expactancy is twenty years shorter than the average for the rest of the area. This is caused by a variety of problems that are all traced back to contaminated water nearby. This example shows that even if people use clean water, if there is highly contaminated water nearby other parts of the envirnoment are affected too. Another alarming statistic is, ''Fifty percent of India's morbidity is because of water.'(p.5) These statistics are all backed up by an extensive bibliograpy that is composed of research articles from major universities and also private research laboratories that focus on the growing problem of contaminated water. In addition to using statistics, she also uses many of her own life experiences to demonstrate the problems. 'One of my favorite stories about water control involves my husband's resourceful Uncle Marion.'(p.45) The story concluded with Marion buying beavers to divert water instead of building a dam. This apparently caused no problems with flooding in the nearby area, suggesting that many problems we face today can be solved by using nature. Ward has not only researched the water problems in-depth, but she has also travelled worldwide to witness the problems first-hand. This greatly adds to the credability of the book because she writes about what she sees and backs everything up with sources. Although some people may believe first-hand accounts may be extremely biased, Ward does not offer any evidence that she is trying to accomplish anything more than notifying the public of growing problems. Extremely detailed information is giving on the past few decades but it offers also information on dams and their effects 'built sometime between 2950 B.C. and 2750 B.C.'(p.52). Ward gives information from every era showing that water problems have been around for quite sometime and will only worsen unless changes are made. At the same time, this is not just a history book. The reading is easy and also very intriguing. This book is not all just negative information that just point out problems. Ward also shows current projects underway and the effect they will hopefully have. These projects include dams and purifying stations. Not only would these dams divert water to areas where water is scarce, but it would also generate much needed electricity, solving two environmental problems at once. Although dams could cause unwanted flooding in some areas, areas that have large bodies of water nearby should consider building a dam to make an evironmentally safe form of electricity.

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