The article “Fresh Water” by Barbara Kingsolver starts with the critical question which bothers minds of many scientists nowadays: ‘Will there be enough of fresh water for the future generations of people?’ Since the times of dinosaurs, the water on the Earth has supported lives of thousands of millions living creatures enabling them to grow and develop. However, with the ongoing pollution problems and increased consuming of fresh water, the problem of its sufficiency for our grandchildren arises.
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Barbara Kingsolver depicts the beauty of water and its powerful and life-giving properties alongside with outlining the increase of problems with fresh water. The author urges people to work out effective ways which will help them to use water resources economically and reasonably.
Kingsolver stresses on the faultiness of humans’ thinking that there will always be enough of fresh water for all of us: water will always come to us from the tips of snowy mountains when the sun shines bright enough, or from the refreshing rain that purifies everything around. However, people have to open their eyes and face the reality: water resources are depleting and becoming unhealthy to use due to their bad condition. While some countries do not feel the lack of fresh water, others try to preserve each drop.
Ecuador is now the first country on the whole planet whose constitution includes the rights of the nature making forests and rivers not just a state’s property but giving them the right to grow and develop. Thanks to these amendments, now each citizen of Ecuador can file a suit speaking on behalf of the damaged water resource defending its importance to the well-being of all citizens.
In her article, Barbara Kingsolver mentions the paper by a well-known ecologist Garrett Hardin “The Tragedy of the Commons” (1968) that tackles those problems which can only be eliminated by a drastic change of human values and moral ideas, meaning those cases when self-interest causes collective ruin. Our greediness will always be on our way making us and those around us suffer from its negative side effects, which definitely appear as time passes by.
To strengthen the urgency of this problem, the author provides apt examples of African countries, Australian cities and South American areas. She mentions the Bajo Piura Valley with the driest sands where it rains once a year (just an inch of rain) or does not rain at all for several years. People who live in this area are called by Barbara Kingsolver ‘economic refugees’ that look for the free of charge land.
The author expresses her astonishment with all those people who can dig dry ground for a drop of water with inhuman perseverance but never find it under the burning rays of desert sun.
Until we learn how to treat nature properly so it can give us everything we need, people are doomed to suffer from insufficiencies of various natural resources which they waste so easily.
Barbara Kingsolver stresses that water is an evident changing force of climate. Some regions are flooded whereas others do not know where to get some water to drink. The author extends on the actual problems that are caused by the recent sharp climate change: beginning with the tomatoes being blighted on the fields of our farmers and ending up with the extreme storms soaking the ground to such extent that even trees cannot hold in their vertical position with their roots in it.
To conclude her article, the author chooses some burning questions about water and who owns it. The water is a special relic which gives us lives but also takes them away showing us its unconquerable power as if telling us to behave according to its rules.