quinta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2020

Water Speaks

For future generations it will be increasingly vital to have not only specialized knowledge but also a holistic and integral awareness of water. Since in this book it is the water that speaks, thus, the book is written in the first person, as if the narrative were made by the water itself. It is addressed to young people in a synthetic and poetic language, permeated by illustrations.

The book describes, in five parts, a journey through the complete water cycle in the environment, its movement, its presence in living bodies, in culture, and issues related to its use.

The first part invites the reader to approach water, to know its travels through the universe and on earth. This part describes how water circulates in the environment. The book shows the various states it assumes when faced with heat and cold and the temperature changes that make water into vapor, or its liquid or solid form. The text shows that it can be sweet, brackish or salty and that water is a sign that indicates the existence of life.

In the second part the reader is invited to follow water in its movement, experiencing the forms it takes and the various places it occupies in the heavens as hail, rain, or snowflakes, on earth, or underground. The water cycle is described, in its forms as precipitation, evaporation, soil infiltration, how it arises in springs and causes soil erosion, as well as flooding and drought.

The third part describes the path of water in the living bodies of humans, animals and plants and highlights its role and importance to life. Water is in the sap that carries mineral salts in the plants that exude water into the environment, in the fluids of living bodies, such as tears, sweat, blood, urine, in the placental fluid where babies live in their mother’s wombs, in cleansing of bodies while batheing.

Since water is a frequent theme in culture, religion and the arts, the fourth part of the book shows how it is sung and spoken about and shown in various cultural and artistic manifestations – music, poetry, dance, urbanism and landscaping. In many spiritual traditions water is considered sacred and used in purification rituals like Christian baptism and also mentioned in biblical narratives like the great flood. In other traditions, there are water gods and goddesses, and there are rituals like the rain dances of Indians. Many words in all languages refer to water, and many places and cities have water-related names.

In the fifth and final part, the book highlights some of water’s multiple uses: for human supply and for animals to drink, for irrigated agriculture, power generation, transportation, as well as for fishing, recreation, leisure and tourism. This final part shows everyone's need for water to maintain health and well-being and denounces the waste that happens during its consumption. The last part emphasizes the problems and insecurity arising from water scarcity or excess in the cases of droughts and floods. It shows the importance of building dams, canals, aqueducts, water and sewage treatment plants and of conserving the soil to prevent leaching and silting and promoting protection of soil and water sources. It underlines the importance of developing cooperation concerning water and devising ways to promote dialogue and avoid rivalries, conflicts and violence between those who need it and dispute possession of water.

A glossary defines the main concepts used. Questions are formulated to enable the reader to take a guided reading, the answers to which help to better understand water and its multiple uses.