This workshop really hammers home the relationship of human beings and the land we live on. The jerusalem segment shows how one area can be important to different people for different yet similar reasons. The people their are separated by religion, yet the conflict is over statehood. The statehood conflict then creates other conflicts such as water resources and access to them.
The Egypt segment highlights the fact that the earth truly has a carrying capacity. We may not have reached it, but we seem to be approaching it at an exponential rate. It was said more than once than the arable land available in Egypt is not enough to feed its people.
The aswan dam and the irrigation projects demonstarte the ingenuity of humans to overcome the limitations of their region. Yet with these innovations come other problems such as the end of silt rich waters and increase in salinization.
Irrigating the desert can be seen from a number of points of view. With Egypt, it can be seen as a necessity. Food is needed, so crops must be grown. The only land available happens to be desert, so what else can they do but bring water to that land?
But looking at another situation, the desert is being irrigated for simple pleasure. Las Vegas has countless lawns, fountains, and golf courses. Does the environmental harm from this irrigation outweigh the benefits? As the population of Las Vegas grows, will we see more of that water going to crops rather than pleasant lawns and entertainment? Comparing Vegas and Egypt really shows the great disparity between rich and poor nations, and the ways that we use available water.
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Received on Mon Apr 14 09:42:36 2008