As part of the Water Institute's WaterTalks lecture series, Jeremy Schmidt, lecturer of Human Geography at Durham University, United Kingdom, presents "Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity."
Humans take more than their geological share of water, but they do not benefit from it equally. This imbalance has fostered an era of water scarcity that affects the security of individuals, states, and the global economy. For many, this brazen water grab and the social inequalities it produces reflect the lack of a coherent philosophy connecting people to the planet.
Challenging this view, Jeremy Schmidt details how the ideas of American geologists and social scientists — notably anthropologists and geographers — sought to bring all of water’s relationships into a single planetary story. Understanding how this story ultimately shaped resource conservation, development, and how water is understood with respect to the Earth system is critical as we enter the Anthropocene — an era in which the philosophy connecting water, people, and planet has unequal effects on a geological scale.
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