Water
 

Facilitator:    Sidna Rachid, 377-9568, sidnarachid@hotmail.com                                      Dates:            Tuesdays, September 11 –October 30, 2018 Time:             1:30 PM - 3:30 PM                                Text :             Water—The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization, by Steven Solomon, Harper Perennial, 2010                                                        Presentations: Required

“Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink,” (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner) comes to mind whenever I think of water. Although Earth is the ‘water planet’ (71% of its surface is covered with water) only 3% of Earth’s water is freshwater, but most of that freshwater is inaccessible. Of all the water on Earth, more than 99 percent is unusable by humans!

This class is about how access and control of freshwater influenced the development of human civilizations. We will start with the river-centered ancient civilizations and then examine the development of trade, the ascendency of the West through ocean voyages and colonialism, the industrial revolution, settling the American West and the era of building huge canals and dams. We’ll end with two weeks about access to freshwater in the modern world.

Along the way, I hope that you’ll acquire a feeling of awe and gratitude every time you turn on the tap or flush the toilet or water your lawn.