The Fate of Fresh Water

Monday, June 27, 2011

Alex Prud'homme tells the evolving story of freshwater—as the climate warms and the world population grows, demand for water has surged, but supplies of freshwater are static or dropping, and new threats to water quality appear every day. The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-first Century investigates the state of our water infrastructure, the supply and quality of water, how secure our water supply is, new sources of water, and discusses whether the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water.


Alex Prud'homme

Comments [14]

Dana from Manhattan

In New York City, gallons of water are used to clean sidewalks of dead leaves instead of using a broom.

Jun. 28 2011 04:07 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ Kathryn from Brooklyn - Riverkeeper is the go-to resource for information on Newtown Creek pollution:

Greenpoint Oil Spill on Newtown Creek:

Jun. 27 2011 12:43 PM
Richard-NYC from Manhattan - NYC

The water supply, other natural resources & pollution in general are symptoms of a larger issue, that being population growth.
This is in turn subject to the pressures of a market system that requires constant consumer growth in a finite ecosystem with finite resources. As state populations age, more taxpayers are required to fund the excesses of prior generations in a
suicidal "pyramid scheme" that must one day collapse, with each subsequent larger generation consuming fewer finite resources and generating more "resource wars" such as we have in the Middle East
and central Asia, and those are just the beginning. A population of 3 billion vs. the anticipaited 12 Billion by 2050 would cut our consumption and pollution by more than half and give us time as a species to develop sustainable ways of living and sharing the planet with other living things.
This will not happen as long as we allow markets to control how we live.
A brief comment on fracking:

Jun. 27 2011 12:39 PM

I'm surpised by the guest's surprise about raw sewage in the Gowanus. Raw sewage gets drained into the East River regularly. Check out the signs posted along the river.

Jun. 27 2011 12:32 PM
Kathryn from Brooklyn

I am a Greenpoint resident...can your guest put me in touch with someone or information to learn about the health issues in the neighborhood?

Jun. 27 2011 12:29 PM
Kathryn from Brooklyn

I remember reading that the agricultural run- off problem is way worse than the damage of the BP oil spill.

Jun. 27 2011 12:24 PM
Sara from LEAS

Your guest is great! I was wondering if you could ask him about why these environmental issues are never brought up when people talk about curing/preventin cancer?

Jun. 27 2011 12:24 PM
Ambimom from New Jersey

These laws, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were written in such a vague terms that they there virtually impossible to enforce. Congress left much of the nitty gritty up to the EPA, which meant that when the regulations were written they were a well-meaning attempt to fill in the "gaps" in the laws written by Congress. Therein lies the problem with enforcement. Thne regulations ARE sometimes onerous. It is too simplistic to just blame people....AND utterly elitist to suggest that when unemployment is as high as it is, jobs aren't important. Shame on you!

Jun. 27 2011 12:20 PM
Johnnjersey from NJ

We squander lots a freshwater by thinking of it as "waste" and sending it into the ocean in the hundreds of millions of gallons a day as treated sewage. It is treated to be almost drinking quality, perfect for watering laws or golf courses.

Get the real story in this movie, The Cycle of Insanity. Front and center at this website

Jun. 27 2011 12:20 PM
Michael from Manhattan

The "jobs vs. environmental enforcement" argument is a classic false choice propagated by business interests. It's more a choice between higher profits and environmental enforcement.

Jun. 27 2011 12:18 PM
Sally Morrow from Ottawa Canada

I hope he investigates the VAST amounts of water and natural gas being used to bring the tar sands (now called oil sands..) to a liquid state for market. Not to mention the destruction of the environment and water sources. Sure, lots of jobs but at what price?

Jun. 27 2011 12:16 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

_Interconnection of Water-Food-Energy_

The Energy-Water Nexus:

Energy and Agriculture:

Jun. 27 2011 12:16 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

I am well aware of the many and growing concerns vis-a-vis global freshwater crisis: Besides reiterating those concerns, can Mr. Prud'homme provide any cases, examples, etc., that show positive ways forward in dealing with these crises (local to global), or is he not so sanguine about global freshwater resources being able to meet the needs/populations of the future?

Jun. 27 2011 12:07 PM
Peg Kennedy from Southern Tier NY

New York is one of the water richest regions in the world. At this point, we squander this precious resource. Some day it will be more valuable than gold.

Our fresh water resources belong to the citizens of the State of New York. Perhaps it's time to start charging those who want to pollute it or "take it away." It could be a larger revenue generator than our finite resources of natural gas.

Humans can live without gas; they cannot live without good drinking water.

Jun. 27 2011 10:00 AM

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