Democracy is not only about water, but it is also about the decisions that affect people on a daily basis, for instance, what they eat and drink. The people of the Andean city of Cochabamba ordinary working people battled with the police as they demonstrated against privatization of water supply in the city. Olivera Oscar was the chief mastermind of the demonstration. The government of Bolivia wanted to sell the supply of the city’s water to a subsidiary of Bechtel Corporation, a US-based company. Privatization and neoliberalism of the public resources have brought no good to the general public other than expensive services, unemployment and inability by the government to sustain public services due to low revenue. This was a result of the New Economic Policy of 1985. This prompted the government of Bolivia to outsource the public services to the private sector as recommended by the World Bank report of 1999.
Cochabamba the 3rd largest urban town of Bolivia has been facing water shortages for a very long time with the political and business class manipulating the population in pursuit of the corporate power and corporate interest, for instance the miscuing water project that has been opened by 3 distinct presidents. Further the implementation of the privatization law 2029 brought more challenges, as it illegalized community-based water systems established by NGOs as well as took the township right of determining where to dig a borehole within the town. This disadvantage the ordinary people, water, was the most basic commodity not only for drinking and household use but also for agricultural use. The people were not involved in any of these neither decision nor implementation, one of the most fundamental principles of democracy in solving common problems in this case water.
Water and Ice Tell of Climate Change: Bolivia
Bolivia has become a victim of climate-induced catastrophes over the recent years. The Ambassador of Bolivia to United Nations admits that there is a big problem that not even money can solve it completely. The countries glaciers are melting and disappearing. The country is running out of the water as the Islands are under water. The city of El Alto is out of the water as stated by one of the residents Celia Cruz. She says that two years ago water was not a problem but now it is. In spite good earnings by the husband, she acknowledges the fact that money can’t buy water in this situation. The scientists are attributing these catastrophes to global warming. Scientists claim that if the problem is not solved with urgency then El Alto would be the first large urban victim of climate change.
The glaciers have been providing a low-maintenance storage that collected water during the short rainy seasons as well as releasing it for electricity and water in the long dry seasons. These have been affected by the changing rainfall and warmer temperatures hence no longer doing so. On the other hand, the scientist sees a solution in engineering and money as a solution to solving the water problem in El Alto, for instance, establishing of well-designed water reservoirs. According to Ramirez Edson a glaciologist in Bolivia, the effects of the climate change are extremely rapid that there is no time for building a reservoir that takes five to seven years to be completed. An example is the prediction that had been made in regard to lasting period of a glacier in Chacaltaya. It was predicted that it would last up to 2020, but it disappeared in 2009. From these effects, it is very evident that climate change effects are real and adverse.
Tsunami is a phenomenon which according to the archeologists it can be traced back to approximately 3500 years ago. At this time, the Mediterranean Tsunami did hit the Crete’s North Shore. It has caused destruction of cities and towns as well as massive deaths. In Minamisanriku, north of Sendai, Japan, Tsunami claimed 900 lives in March 2015. On the same day, about 16000 people died in Tohoku region with approximately 4000 still missing. The disaster cleared most villages and towns living thousands of people homeless. The majority of the Tsunami’s according to the scientists are caused mainly by the seafloor earthquakes along subduction zones mostly in Indian and Pacific oceans.
Japan has invested billions of money in the preparedness of Tsunamis and earthquakes. Two of the earth’s tectonic plates collide along those boundaries. The one with dense oceanic crust moves under the buoyant continental one hence creating a deep-ocean trench. At some place and time the plates stuck – the crest of the subducting seamount may snag to the bottom of the continent, for instance. After long years, the accumulated strain overcomes the friction hence causing the plates to shatter each other. In Japan during March disaster the quakes began many miles below the seafloor. It after that spread into the sloping contact in between the plates to the Trench in Japan at the seafloor. The energy it released was equated to 8000 Hiroshima Bombs. Most of this energy went into the seafloor’s motion raising and lowering the water above it therefore causing a tsunami. Unlike ordinary waves of an ocean that are wrinkles on the sea surface driven by wind, Tsunami moves the whole water column. The disturbance is spread in the opposite direction away from the fault in very long wave fronts that can be a few miles apart. In shallow water, they build up to dangerous heights since they pile against a cost.
Nature as Infrastructure: Making and Managing the Panama Canal Watershed
Growing literature in Geography, environmental history, and anthropology shows that humanity has modified almost the entire environment. Infrastructure, therefore, nature cannot be reduced to a non-human world that is already out there. Infrastructure and its proponents ought to be invested in, managed, built and made functional. While nature becomes infrastructure as a result of human work, environmental politics and techno-politics becomes inter-twined
The Panama Canal is one of fascinating sites when it comes to thinking about natural, infrastructure or otherwise. Water management systems have made it possible for the inter-oceanic transportation and the objective which defines the canal. The canal under the management system delivers a large amount of water that required for 35-45 ships which transits to the locks each day. An approximate of 52 million gallons is released into the ocean at every transit. This therefore means that the number of ships in transit is limited by the level of water available. To respond to potential and actual water shortage, Panama have responded by establishing an integrated management system that combines the current technologies with modern techniques of environmental regulation, community-based management, and land use planning.
In 1970s, the problem of Panama became the point o9f discussion. The hydrologists had foreseen the canal running out of business if the watershed would not have acted upon with decisive actions. According to Wadsworth, the problem facing Panama could not be fixed by civil engineering systems of water management rather forests could only fix it. He stated that only forests could stabilize and restore the capacity of Panama Canal. As a result of his theory, the forest cover in Panama was increased and put under a good management system.
Water Challenges in Asia
Asia is one continent that faces a lot of water challenges. Some years ago in 2011 Tsunami hit Japan’s northern part. This means water intrudes the lands of Japan on large scale hence causing destructions. Therefore flooding is one of the major water challenges in Asia. This is common in areas experiencing monsoon winds and Bangladesh. They experience booth natural and man-made flooding for instance through the creation of dams. There are also water-related challenges facing Asia, as the countries fight to get fresh water supply. The conflict is centered at having a precise one river-sharing agreement between India and Pakistan. The conflict is created by the shortage in supply of fresh water in the continent.
The continent has also ensured employment of better water management systems that has seen people getting water. An example is the construction of the Kokaral dam. This dam brought back water to the people as well as the fish. This has created a more positive outlook for the people and industries. Other responses for instance in India has promoted the global water policy. This concentrated on the 21st-century centralized management of water. Centralized authorities have been established to supply water to all regions. Nevertheless, these authorities have not been in a position to meet the needs of the entire nation. This scarcity has prompted some of the people and regions to resolve to the traditional methods of harvesting fresh water. Indeed, this has been able to assist many regions regain their resource sustainability, as well as cultural autonomy. Women have been very instrumental in this process. As water management continues to pose challenges in the entire continent of Asia, it has its own successes. Some activists have been advocating for a move away from the centralized management system to a more comprehensive and, local plans and strategies such as revitalizing many rivers, as well as watersheds.
Water Works in India
Most of the problems in India are associated with water. There is water scarcity in some regions while in other regions it is in plenty and wasted. Chewang Norphel, propose the only solution to be the establishment of clean and efficient channels so as to move water from the distant area while minimizing losses. Norphel also developed artificial glaciers through the use of thin pipes. This was meant to move water as glaciers into the villages. To substitute water dams, he proposes the use of glaciers. Magga Ram also comes up with his strategies of digging ‘berries’ which are narrow wells that are not that deep. Berries was only dug during the winter so as to avoid summer heat. After around 4.5 meters, the berries were lined with some stones. The Megga’s berries to date often have water yet the last one was dug 15 years ago.
At the Indian Thar deserts, there are numerous holes surrounded by circular areas that are kept clean at the Lahsedi district, Rajastthan. Ran Signh also created similar structures referred to as ‘kundis’. These were small tanks covered to store rainwater which was captured by saucers. Kundis have been able to service the people of Lahsedi, who are supplied with water once in two hours by the government. Ganesan is another person who through his prowess ion understanding his village has been able to supply water to the entire village of Madaivin Patt. Ganesan understands very well where water comes from and where it should be supplied to at any given moment. Kunhikannan Nair created a ‘surangam’. Surangam is a tunnel of about 300meters that is built on a rock and collects water from the rains through the ‘ghats.’