To celebrate World Water Day this year, the National Geographic Magazine gave us a lovely gift. They produced a Special Issue on Water – one whole 200+ page issue of engaging articles, and of course photographs. Oh, the photographs. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this issue alone is an Encyclopedia of Water.
They assume that we know that water is a critical global issue, that by 2025 1.8 billion people will live where water is scarce. The editor says, “In the pages to come, we bring to life the drama behind the statistic. And this is only the start of a larger commitment, at the Magazine and throughout the National Geographic Society, to explore the world of water.”
They’re off to a good start.
- Author Barbara Kingslover writes in ‘Water is Life’ about everyday observations that evoke, or should, a sense of awe at the wonder of water.
- Drought in Asia is front and center in Brooke Lamar’s ‘The Big Melt’.
- In ‘Sacred Water’, photographs by John Stanmeyer explore our spiritual connection with water.
- The human costs of African water scarcity is the subject of ‘The Burden of Thirst’ by Tina Rosenberg.
- Douglas H Chadwick writes about efforts to save freshwater fish populations in ‘Silent Stream’.
- Joel K. Bourne, Jr. digs into the California water crisis in ‘California’s Pipe Dream’.
- According to Don Belt, in ‘Parting the Waters’, water crises can actually be an opportunity for peace and increased cooperation.
- ‘The Last Drop,’ by Elizabeth Royte, looks at how daily life may, may have to, change to adjust to water scarcity.
- Villagers and donkeys near Marsabit, Kenya, lean into a trough at the top of a “singing well” – so called because the people who form bucket brigades to bring the water up from deep underground sing as they work. Each visitor is allowed to fill only one large jerry can a day – and the women usually have to wait until after the animals have drunk their fill. (Lynn Johnson © National Geographic)
In addition to the features, there are informational charts, graphs and maps, and, in the on-line version, links to video profiles.
The interactive version of the magazine is available to download free through April 2, and the print version will be on newsstands from March 30.
- Severed from the edge of Antarctica, this iceberg might float for years as it melts and releases its store of fresh water into the sea. The water molecules will eventually evaporate, condense, and recycle back to Earth as precipitation. (Camille Seaman, © National Geographic)
Photos from Boston.com
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