Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Water, water everywhere….not sure!

Popular perception on water doesn't hold much water, as it hinges around the technology of overcoming current scarcity for sustaining future supplies. With traditional wisdom around water on the verge of extinction, the discourse around water is somewhat of an aberration from its science. No wonder, questions from the audience that pop up during live television programs not only reflect gross ignorance but portray a skewed understanding on water as well. Like 'water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink', information on water is plenty but clear understanding is broadly missing. Is increasing water scarcity cause for growing water ignorance?

Water Drops is a compilation of some 160 radio broadcasts of 90 seconds each on all aspects of water, from its history to its hydrology and from its science to its politics. The weekly broadcast on a New York FM channel had commenced in early 2006 and lasted till 2008. Since then these essays have repeatedly been broadcast from an unknown number of radio stations and are available online too. Now in print, Water Drops has everything you ever wanted to know about water and water issues. It is Peter Black’s four decades of professional research and teaching experience captured in 90-seconds capsules, each offering cure for water ignorance.

You may like 'hot shower' but speaking on it meaningfully and that too for little over a minute can make you feel hot. One can perhaps write a volume on 'water balance' but making a diverse audience get a balanced sense of it could be daunting. And, think of 'black ice' to let your listeners get a sense of something we rarely encounter. This and much more, each of these radio broadcasts celebrates water and its wonder. Informative and even entertaining, Water Drops is an encyclopedic look at water in its various manifestations. As an activist, as a teacher and as an administrator, there come moments when one struggles to make a coherent sense of the issue for an audience. It is for such crucial moments that one may need Water Drops. It is a celebration of water, the elixir of all life.

Water Drops: Celebrating the Wonder of Water
by Peter E. Black
State University of New York Press, Albany
187 pages, $19.95

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