Yes, these two luminaries and I lunched on excellent burgers and Reubens, threw a some darts, hoisted a few, and just generally opined on the world's water issues and assorted other topics.
David is en route to Vancouver, BC (via Yukon) where he will settle in and cast his magic over that fair city. Hey, it was either Vancouver or Saskatoon. When I arrived at the pub at noon, he was already walking on air - a woman noted his blog bumper stickers (note that both he and Todd are furtively pointing to them) and said she read him, loved the stuff, and blah, blah...
Luminaries? David is a well-known water blogger and published author, having penned the provocative, excellent End of Abundance: Economic Solutions to Water Scarcity (a second edition is forthcoming). Even people in Albany, OR, recognize him and he doesn't live just ten miles away like yours truly.
What about Todd Jarvis? A luminary? Better believe it! Unbeknownst to many, he is on the verge of finishing the first draft of his book, Contesting Hidden Waters: Conflict Resolution for Groundwater and Aquifers.
The big deal? I cannot think of a book on water conflict that does anything more than pay lip service (if that) to groundwater, which comprises far more of Earth's unfrozen freshwater - 95 to 98% or so - than surface or atmospheric water. But it gets the 'Rodney Dangerfield' treatment: no respect!
Not so with Todd's book - all groundwater all the time!
While publications exist on conflict resolution for water resources, most focus almost exclusively on surface water with occasional mention of groundwater. No books focus exclusively on conflicts over groundwater resources despite the fact that most of the world’s freshwater supplies are underground, that over 300 transboundary aquifers have been mapped, and that over 50% of the world’s population relies on groundwater for drinking water. In Contesting Hidden Waters, the author describes the principal differences between surface water and groundwater disputes.
First, groundwater conflicts are more focused on water quality and land use as opposed to water quantity and allocation which typify surface water disputes. Secondly, groundwater is the “hidden” resource where unlike surface watersheds which are static, groundwater boundaries are value-laden, constantly changing during development and also include the spectrum of spirituality and mysticism, economics, and property rights. Thirdly, conflicts over groundwater include identity issues typically not encountered in surface water conflicts. Finally, conflicts over aquifer storage are shown to be different to conflicts over groundwater. This is highlighted by the United Nations General Assembly recently adopting a resolution on the “Law of Transboundary Aquifers” bringing groundwater and aquifers to the fore. The book covers both the theory and practice of conflict resolution, including detailed case studies from the Middle East and USA.
We will have to wait until Spring 2014 before this groundbreaking book appears.
Better pick up a copy; we will be seeing more groundwater conflicts in the future.
“You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards