Me: I am glad that you could make it to this podcast. I was alittle worried that you could stand me up. Just to introduce thecorrespondent for this podcast, his name is Lee. He is a good friendof mine. Welcome to the podcast.
Lee: Sorry for being late. There is mad traffic out there. Youof all people should know that I am a man of my word.
Me: So, Lee, please tell us about you in brevity.
Lee: I am a student at the Arizona state University majoringin Economics. My prime area of interest is human economics. I have apassion for the utilization of natural resources for the benefit ofhuman beings. Don’t get me wrong though, I am against theoverutilization of natural resources to the point of creating anecological imbalance. The last bit about me is that I am 22 yearsold. I guess that will be all for the sake of brevity.
Me: The other day I heard something disturbing on the news.
Lee: What was it about?
Me: There is a biting water shortage in Arizona.
Lee: Yeah, I heard something similar in the news. What didthey say was the primary cause?
Me: The water level at Lake Mead has tremendously gone down.Lake Mead is a diversion of the Colorado River. Farmers relying onthe water for irrigation have suffered the brunt of the watershortage because the administrators have instituted water rationingin order to serve the entire community of Arizona. The administrationfeels that everybody should have equal shares of the limited resourcefood security notwithstanding. What do you think caused the shortageand how has it affected the people of Arizona? And, what are thepossible alternatives?
Lee: Your question is a cause- solution query, and thankgoodness, I was prepared for that. According to Witte (1), the majorcauses of water shortage are population increase and climate change.In her research paper, the writer uses logic to appeal to the reader.A mean reduction of 10% in the annual inflow of the Colorado River isdue to climate change (McKinnon 2). Theamount of ground water has also reduced due to reducingprecipitation. The writer’s use of statistics shows that she haddone adequate research prior to writing the paper. In addition, shegives the percentage increase in human population to show that thepopulation influx is indeed a major cause of the water crisis inArizona. Climate change has been a global problem. Singapore too isexperiencing water shortage due to reasons similar to those ofArizona (Majumder, 4). However, in Arizona, much of the watershortage problem is contributed by water pollution, that reducesclean water amounts (Safe Water2). What did you find out regarding the biting water crisis inArizona?
Me: Wow! I see you did your research prior to coming to thispodcast. It is true the water crisis is due to climate change andincreased human use. You forgot to mention that mining is alsoresponsible for contaminating ground water hence making it unsafe forhuman consumption (Rocio 4). The effects of water rationing have beendire thus far. Farmers can no longer irrigate their farms asfrequently as they used to. The water supply system of Arizona hasdecided that it is best if it rations water to all users. Currently,the farms receive half of the water they used to awhile back. Foodproduction has gone tremendously down. Households and industries havealso suffered. People can no longer go for number two as they used tobecause there is no water in the washrooms. Industries have to usethe services of water tankers to supplement the water from Arizonawater supply. What is your take on the water rationing that extendsto farmers? Should they be excused for the sake of food security orthey should face water rationing like the rest of the population?
Lee: In the words of William (3), both domestic and industrialconsumers of Arizona have experienced the adverse effects of thewater crisis. He appeals to emotion by asking many people to sharethe problems they have gone through due to water shortage. In myopinion however, the farmers should be given priority over thedomestic consumers. Their argument appeals to logic in that theyinvoke the voice of reason on the people who are affected. If thefarmers produce less food, food prices will go up and the cost ofliving will plummet as well. The domestic consumers should understandthat rationing on their part is to ensure a habitable Arizona forall. This concurs with the observation that pollution makes the waterareas make the place inhabitable (Uhlman et al1). What about you? Do you think farmers should have the firstpriority?
Me: That was deep Lee. Yeah, farmers are the backbone of foodsecurity. Without them, we might as well starve to death. Now on tothe elephant in the room- what are the other alternatives that theofficials of Arizona could use to address the water crisis?
Lee: I could think of a few. Haha they are practical by theway.
Me: Please feel free to share.
Lee: In a research paper by Dixit (6), India Addresses itswater problem by collecting rainwater in households. The writerbegins by explaining how India has a massive water problem. Hecarefully selects his audience by using technical terms such ashydrological cycle and the geo- aquatic cycle. Since the contents ofthe paper are head scratching, the writer decides to choose hisaudience earlier in the paper. Those who do not understand theintroduction will give up. It is not a disadvantage to the paperbecause they will not understand the contents anyway if theintroduction is a brainer. On the other hand, climate enthusiastswill instantly fall in love with the heading. The desire to read moreof the solution is automatic in the target audience. Now back to thewriter, Indians had been underestimating the significance ofrainwater on the water crisis that had been aching the authoritiesfor long. Collection of Rainwater from the roofs of Indian householdshas reduced the water shortage by 10%. Bearing in mind that Arizonareceives more precipitation than India, this idea could be themuch-needed breakthrough. But of course Americans are weary ofrainwater. They barely trust tap water even after a series ofpurification, what makes us think that they could embrace rainwater?Maybe rationing will make them see rainwater as an alternativesource.
Me: the idea is brilliant. Instead of allowing all that waterto run aground unused, we could use it in our households or in thefarms. However, I think the administration will have to convince thepublic that rainwater is just as good for domestic use exceptdrinking.
Lee: Yeah you are right. A public campaign in support ofrainwater would be in order.
Me: You said you had more suggestions….
Lee: The second option would be desalination of seawater.Before coming to this podcast, I did my research on the universityonline library. In another podcast regarding this subject, onecorrespondent proposed the desalination of seawater. The speaker’suse of logic was very persuasive. The USA prides itself for being theonly superpower. Desalination should not be expensive for such acountry. We have enormous seawater resources that are going untapped.Once the water has been desalinated, trucks can transport it tohouseholds. The water supply system of Arizona will be reserved forthe farmers only.
Me: Surely, that is a rather expensive alternative. I doubtour government could afford it.
Lee: we spend trillions of dollars on wars and foreign aid. Ithink desalination of seawater for the American taxpayer is easilyattainable. However, such a megaproject will need proper planning andthe use of professionals to lay down appropriate implementationplans.
Me: The source regarding the use of rainwater in India was themost informative for me. The writers used scientific methods ofresearch to ensure that the data therein was reliable. Theresearchers did not seem to be biased to any side of the argument.They used facts to attract readers to their point of view thatrainwater is not only good for clearing dust from the ground, itcould be a source of potable water. Which source do you think usedthe best rhetoric technique to drive the point home?
Lee: The farmers used the best technique to request theauthorities not to ration their water. They used logic to preventrationing. Using their logic, they simply said to the authorities“If you ration water for us, food prices will go up and you willsuffer in return.” The technique was genius. They made theauthorities realize that if food shortage occurred, it would be acrisis for everybody, not the farmers alone.
Dixit, Nishi K. Water shortage: A Global Problem. India: VistaInternational Publishing House Delhi 2008
Majumder, Mrinmoy. Impact of Urbanization on Water Shortage in Faceof Climatic Aberrations. Singapore : Springer Singapore : Imprint:Springer, 2015.
McKinnon, Shaun. 5Reasons to Panic about Arizona`s Water, and 5 Reasons Notto."Azcentral, Web,Acccessed, 5 November, 2015,<http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2014/08/11/arizona-water-supply-drought/13883605>
Rocio Gomez.Poisoning the Well: Mining, Water, and Public Health inZacatecas, Mexico (1880-1942). Tucson, Arizona: University ofArizona, 2014.
Safe Water, WaterPollution.Web, Acccessed, 5 November, 2015,<http://www.safewater.org/PDFS/resourcesknowthefacts/WaterPollution.pdf>
Uhlman, Kristine, Rock, Channah, and Artiola,Janick. Arizona Drinking Water WellContaminants, Web,Acccessed, 5 November, 2015,<http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1503.pdf>
William Fuerst, Darby. Consumer response to two water shortagescenarios in Tucson, Arizona. Thesis (M.S. – Hydrology and WaterResources)–University of Arizona.1983.
Witte, Becky A.Impacts of Climate Change and Population Growth onWater Stress in the Tucson Active Management Area. University ofArizona : University of Arizona, 2013.