State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

National Geographic Water Issue speaks volumes

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.

India's holiest river, the Ganges, is scribbled with light from   floating oil lamps during the Ganga Dussehra festival in Haridwar.   Hindus near death often bathe in the river; some are later cremated   beside it and have their ashes scattered on its waters. (John Stanmeyer,   VII, © National Geographic)
India’s holiest river, the Ganges, is scribbled with light from floating oil lamps during the Ganga Dussehra festival in Haridwar. Hindus near death often bathe in the river; some are later cremated beside it and have their ashes scattered on its waters. (John Stanmeyer, VII, © National Geographic)

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)
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)
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

Follow the Columbia Water Center on Twitter: http://twitter.com/columbiawater

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
trackback
14 years ago

[…] we did with the National Geographic Special Issue on Water, we are glad to glad to report on another special issue about our favorite subject, by another […]