Earth Day

El conocimiento es plata entre los pobres, oro entre los nobles y una joya entre los principes.
(Knowledge is silver among the poor, gold among the noble and a jewel among princes.)

Mexican proverb

Friday 007One of the pleasures I get from attending the Unitarian-Universalist fellowship in San Miguel is that, because there is no settled minister, the lay-led services often bring in guests. Thus, services sometimes are more informational than spiritual as was the case a few weeks ago when Mike Lambert spoke about water in the aquifer that serves San Miguel de Allende.

When I was in my teens and early twenties I would have done anything to avoid listening to a talk such as Mr. Lambert’s. But that was before I lived in Maine and over the course of several summers saw our dug well go dry several times and we struggled to find potable water, before I traveled to Africa and witnessed women carrying water atop their heads from a well located kilometers from their homes, before having lived in low-rain environments, and before seeing the results of water clean-up efforts:  a Hudson River on which the sloop Clearwater could glide, the Kennebec before and after the bass returned, the Naraguagas before the Atlantic salmon returned. And before fracking promised to pollute thousands of miles of underground water sources.

Mr. Lambert is President of Amigos de la Presa, A.C. He told us that in the Guanajuato aquifer it takes 100 years for water to travel from surface to aquifer. He said that agriculture is responsible for 80 per cent of the aquifer-sourced water that is wasted. The presa in San Miguel is but literally a drop in the bucket as to what the aquifer holds, and he says that we in this area currently draw on ancient water to fulfill our needs.

Water is infrastructure, whether that means replacing (as in restoring forests), building (pipelines or aqueducts), or maintaining. It is using new techniques (pumps that – while waiting for hot water to move through a line to its destination – shunt cold water back to supplies) and old (rain barrels).

The same week that Mr. Lambert spoke to the UUs, PBS televised a show about water issues around the world. For information about water issues in the 21st century, go to waterpressures.

Tierra, tan sólo (Marta Gómez)

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