Monday, October 19, 2009

Water, Civilization & the Common Good.

This Friday we are testing the first module of the River Leadership Curriculum, at SunWatch Indian Village. The teaching team includes faculty member - Brother Don Geiger, Community Partner - Nancy Nerny, River Steward - Sarah Peterson, and of course the staff of SunWatch. Below is a description of the module we will be testing:

Water, Civilization, and the Common Good: Water, as a common good, needs to be available, and equitably distributed. This involves the rights of nations, religious groups, cities, and individuals. Fresh, clean, surface water is needed for drinking, and irrigation. We are now finding ourselves with a limited quantity of water. This module talks about access to water, water rights and use (for irrigation and drinking), ethical uses of scarce water, and the relationship that civilizations have with water in the past, present, and future. Specific topics include legal aspects such as: riparian rights, prior appropriation, wetland mitigation, the clean water act, consumption, water as a commodity, control of availability, control of distribution, and the impact of the Great Miami on Sunwatch.

Most of you have already watched the documentary FLOW; For the Love of Water this semester, which also addressed the issue of water as a common good. As you continue to think about this subject, in preparation for this week's mini-course, check out this recent event in California: Gov. Schwarzenegger Calls Special Session to Address California's Water Crisis

Interesting.....where does Dayton or your hometown fit into this picture? Please take time before Friday to look further into this subject, find some of your own resources, and jot a couple thoughts down in your journal!


  1. Well, I don't know what to say, other than that it's a good thing that Arnold is realizing that water in Cali is a huge deal.

    what does this mean for Dayton? Well, just that we need to realize our resources we have and protect them. I just went to a speaker in the Bio department who worked for the last 20 years for the EPA cleaning up Fernald Nuclear Weapons Production facility south of here on the banks of the Great Miami. Uranium, everywhere. We have a long way to go to cleaning up the aquifer. Oooh, the hidden costs of war...this was a 4.5 Billion dollar clean-up. So, we can do our part to protect our resources by promoting world peace.??? I'm just rambling,,,signing out. Ciao!

  2. For me, this is just shocking. I knew water is one of the most important stitches for life, but I didn't know how deprived people are of water. It's unbelievable - the human rights abuses coming from the most basic need. At least here we have people working towards cleaning our water and realizing its impact on the community.

  3. Some links I found

  4. I think that individuals will get a better understanding of the importance of water once their water resource is removed. This will cause people to think twice about how they use water.

    In the Dayton area we need to protect and promote our water resource. The city relies on the water to grow.

  5. Well, let's imagine that we tell people in California to use less water for the sole reason that they live in an area with less available potable water per person. Okay?

    Now tell me how that's fair.

    Nobody is telling us that we should live without our cheap Chinese computers, wheelbarrows, ipods, and household wares because we don't have the resources to produce them (or refuse to use our more-expensive resources). We are living well beyond our means. On a daily basis, we use oil and natural gas. These resources are not from here. Yes, there are oil and gas wells in Ohio, but not enough to supply our consumption. Nobody it mandating that we use only this limited, minute amount of oil because we just happen to live in a state with little oil resources.

    Point 2: who is using California's water? Let's see...the people of California. In their homes (for showers and laundry and backyard swimming pools). In their businesses (oil processing, manufacturing, etc.). In their farms (irrigation out the waazoo in that arid, Mediterranean climate). Who is using that water? Well, because we eat California cheese, meat, wine, lettuce, broccoli, tomatos, almonds, walnuts, spinach, celery, avacado, and oranges,,,we are using California's water. We are living out of our state's means by eating food that comes from California. We are the one's living out of our local means.

    Now, let's re-visit that question: How is it fair for us to say that Californian's should use less water (when they already use far less than the average American) just because they live in an area with less water availability?

  6. (Ooops, I typed Californian's when I meant to type Californians---without the apostrophe)


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