January As conflict escalatesadversaries begin to make greater threats and impose harsher negative sanctions.
Water, like religion and ideology, has the power to move millions of people.
Since the very birth of human civilization, people have moved to settle close to water. People move when there is too little of it. People move when there is too much of it.
People journey down it. People write and sing and dance and dream about it. People fight over it. And all people, everywhere and every day, need it.
We need it for drinking, for cooking, for washing, for food, for industry, for energy, for transport, for rituals, for fun, for life. And it is not only we humans who need it; all life is dependent on water to survive.
But we stand today on the brink of a global water crisis. The two major legacies of the 20th Century - Negotiations essay population and technological explosions - have taken their toll on our water supply. More people lack drinking water today than they did two decades ago.
More and more freshwater sources are being used-up and contaminated. Modern technologies have allowed us to harness much of the world's water for energy, industry and irrigation - but often at a terrible social and environmental price - and many traditional water conservation practices have been discarded along the way.
Most of the solutions to the crisis must be developed and implemented locally, and always with the view that water is not to be taken for granted, or unjustly appropriated by particular groups for particular needs.
Water is the most important single element needed in order for people to achieve the universal human right to "a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family.
Let us acknowledge that clean water is a universal human right, and in so doing accept that we have the corresponding universal responsibility to ensure that the forecast of a world where, in 25 years' time, two out of every three persons face water-stress is proven wrong.
In this issue, United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan asks us to face up to the threat of a catastrophic water crisis and counter such bleak forecasts by adopting a new spirit of stewardship. To do otherwise would be nothing less than a crime and history will rightly judge current generations harshly for it.
The world's growing population should be seen not only as one of the causes of the water crisis, but also as the source of its solution, as is stressed by Former President of the Philippines, Fidel Ramos, using the example of the enormous potential of people-power in South East Asia.
Human solidarity is the only force capable of facing a task of this magnitude. There must be solidarity in international and regional governance; there must be solidarity between sectors and stakeholders; and there must be political will amongst governments to work in good faith both with their neighbors and with their own people.
These people, including often marginalized groups such as women and minorities, must have a voice, and the information and means necessary to use it.
Without water security, social, economic and national stability are imperiled. This is magnified where water flows across borders - and becomes crucial in regions of religious, territorial or ethnic tension. In some cases, as between India and Pakistan over the Indus River, successful cooperation over water resources can be cited as proof that even states with difficult relations can work together.Indiana State University offers more than 75 graduate programs, including master's, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees.
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