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Unlocking the Real Worth of Water

ENVS 295
Spring 2014 not offered
Certificates: Environmental Studies

Water is simultaneously priceless and worthless. Water conservation is vital yet unsustainable. We purify it only to blend it with our feces. We destroy it to produce useless items; meanwhile 5,000 kids die each day without it. This course reframes our modern decisions--trade, aid, food, work, freedom, democracy--through the timeless lens of scarce water. It tackles the political and economic paradoxes of water that so confounded even Galileo, Adam Smith, Alexander Hamilton, and Ben Franklin and drive our modern world to require 40 percent more water by 2030 than the earth can physically provide. Some say water stress triggered the Arab Spring and believe that uprising to be the dawn of increasingly fatal, thirst-driven conflicts. Are we bound for a global water-constrained Armageddon, as otherwise optimistic leaders predict? Or is there a new virtual key that may reverse scarcity and reveal water's true value for all species, especially our own?
This course will deepen students' grasp and estimation of fresh water in daily decisions as they discover water's complex socioeconomic linkages, take ownership of its inherent risks, appreciate its corresponding rights and responsibilities, and engage in negotiating and bartering of dominion shares of this precious liquid asset in a way that reveals water's value in exchange.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS ENVS
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: [E&ES197 or BIOL197] OR E&ES199
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUN-14-2024
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