Effective Fresh Water Policy Requires an Educated Public, Reports OSU Hydrology Professor

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Fresh water advocate and Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder Sharon Kleyne interviews Oregon State University’s Michael Campana, PhD, on water resources, education and public policy.

People in charge of water resources make better decisions if the public is well informed, according to Michael Campana, PhD, speaking on the Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio show. Wasteful, expensive and environmentally harmful policies, and “quick fix” solutions, says Campana, occur because the public allows it. And they allow it because they have not been educated.

Michael E. Campana, PhD, is Professor of Hydrogeology and Water Resources at the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. As past President of the American Water Resources Association, Dr. Campana is a leading authority on ground water, fresh water resources and water allocation.

The syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio show, hosted by fresh water advocate Sharon Kleyne, is heard weekly on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. The education oriented show is sponsored by Bio Logic Aqua® Research, a global research and technology center founded by Kleyne and specializing in fresh water, the atmosphere and dehydration. Nature’s Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center’s signature product for dry and dehydrated eyes.    

Dr. Campana was interviewed on the Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® show of December 22, 2014. (Live show or podcast: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2207/the-sharon-kleyne-hour).

Here is some of the information that the public and water policy decision makers must have, according to Kleyne and Campana, to make effective and sustainable water policy decisions:

Every living organism of Earth, according to Campana, requires water to live. To sustain life, even for organisms adapted to the driest, harshest environments, their internal water must be expelled and replaced from time to time. This is called “recycling.” Humans require fresh water intake of eight to ten glasses per day.    

Living organisms are able to obtain fresh water, says Campana, because the Earth itself has a natural recycling process, called the “hydrology cycle.” Water evaporates into the atmosphere, forms clouds and returns as precipitation that feeds oceans, lakes, streams and ground water.

Disrupt either the organism’s recycling system or the Earth’s recycling system and malfunctions occur. In a living organism, the result is dehydration that decreases disease resistance and causes numerous physical malfunctions. Disruptions in Earth’s hydrology cycle, resulting from air pollution and changes in atmospheric water vapor, also cause dehydration and malfunctions.

Water is not only the basis of life and health on Earth, Campana notes, it is the basis of all economic activity. Where water is plentiful, food abounds and people are free to pursue activities other than obtaining food and water, such as going to school or starting a business. This is true in every human population, from remote villages in Kenya to midtown Manhattan.

Lack of education, according to Campana and Kleyne, too often leads to “quick fix” solutions. Is there too little rainfall to support the population? Pump water out of the ground. Do you need to provide water for a major city in the desert? Pipe the water a thousand miles from a place with too much water. Are disposal of waste water and sewage a problem? Dump it into the ocean.

These are “quick fix” solutions because there is no plan for when the ground water runs dry, the water rich source become water poor and water sources become polluted. Kleyne notes that a surprising percentage of our daily water intake occurs – or could occur – through direct absorption of water vapor from the atmosphere – but only if the atmosphere is clean and humid.

In our increasingly populated world with ever greater demands on the water supply, Campana and Kleyne agree that there are bright spots. One is the island nation of Singapore, the other is Orange County, California. Both have programs of total water conservation and recycling and both have developed viable, cost effective systems that can turn used sewage into clean drinking water.

Orange County is also in the forefront, according to Kleyne, in reducing the cost and improving the effectiveness of treating waste water to potable (drinkable) standards, the use of treated waste water for ground water replenishment, and ocean water desalination.

For a wealth of articles about water resources and research, visit Dr. Campana’s “Water Wired” blog at: http://www.wired.com/tag/water/

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