More Examples Of New Water For A Thirsty World
Years before my friend Michael Salzman gave me a copy of his book in 1970 and asked me if I would try to get its message recognized, I knew there was something seriously wrong with the idea that the only source of potable water in our world is rainfall and the hydrological cycle! Here are just a few examples.
1. Sifnos (Kithnos) is an island some fifty miles southeast of Athens, Greece. I spent several days there with my family while on a sailing vacation in 1965. The 4000 year old town of Kithnos, with a then population of more than 3,000, is located some 800 feet above sea level, on the steep southern side of an extinct volcanic cone. We climbed up a centuries old marble "staircase" from the lush sea level farming area near the harbor to have a look.
As a professional city planner, a graduate of Harvard '4l with Master's degree from MIT '46, I was astonished to find most of the houses had flush toilets. How could that be? When I asked that question of a bartender in one of its plazas, he pointed across the plaza to a path going up the hillside. Five minutes later I was standing on the shore of a man made pond about the size of a big swimming pool. Water was pouring into the pool from an old cast iron pipe about a foot in diameter cemented into a crack in the steep hillside rock of the volcanic cone.
How could that be? I asked several elderly residents, all of whom said that "spring" was the sole source of water for the town. It flowed constantly all year long and was a main reason why the town had been built high up there beginning more than 4,000 years ago. (The other main reason was it was it was a safer place to live in those almost prehistoric days. I suspected there are other "springs" in the valley where the lush farms were located. Most of the island was pretty barren.)
2. Bahrain is an island south of Kuwait on the Gulf of Oman. In an almost desert area this island has always been blessed with an inexhaustible supply of fresh water from "springs". Because of this, Bahrain was a major center of trade and civilization for thousands of years. But with my curiosity aroused by the Kithnos revelation, I started checking. An engineer friend who for five years worked in Saudi Arabia and vacationed in a village on the Saudi Arabian shore near Bahrain had some unusual answers. There was plenty of fresh water on the nearby mainland too. He had fished in grottos along the shores of the Gulf where only fresh water fish lived. He told me about "raw water" which thousands of Saudi Arabians drink, and is the source of water for fire hydrants in many Saudi Arabian cities. "Raw water" comes from deep wells drilled for oil which produce water instead, usually but not always with a high salt component. From a geological standpoint the idea that all this water comes from aquifers hundreds of miles away, near and in Oman and Yemen, which are now being rapidly depleted by over pumping, is absurd.
3. The Coast of Maine also caught my attention. Several members of my family have lived in Maine for many years and I have cruised in Maine waters since the 1930s. Where did all the fresh water come from that fills all the old granite quarries? There's no way rainwater could keep the big old quarry on a hilltop in Tenants Harbor filled to overflowing all year long with crystal clear fresh water! My sister and brother in law built a house on Georgetown Island and had a local well driller provide water by drilling a hole through solid granite down to just below sea level less than 100' away from the shore. After the first few months of somewhat muddy water which the well driller said came from the cracks in the granite that had to be flushed out, that well has provided them with all the water they need for more than 20 years. There's no need for a big storage tank, the water can be pumped up all year round. I called up several well drillers listed in the Maine yellow pages and every one said fresh water can be had anywhere along the Maine shoreline by simply drilling down to fissures in the granite.
New Water for a Thirsty World provides the explanation for this phenomenon. It is the same source of fresh water that has supplied lighthouses all along the east coast of Sweden for more than 100 years.
Every few days I read about more situations where water is coming from underground, NOT from rain or aquifers dependent on rain water. New Water for a Thirsty World is for REAL! Deep mines worldwide have problems with too much water. Water coming out of fissures are now being found in all the deep ocean 'floors' that are supporting different kinds of life than exist anywhere else.
Anywhere in the world where tectonic plate action, earthquakes or even just exposure to summer and winter weather create fissures in igneous rocks, there is a probability that inexhaustible supplies in huge quantities of fresh water are available and can be tapped. Aquifers overpumped and surface wells drying up? Rivers drying up in Summers as glaciers disappear due to global warming? There is a real likelihood that there are sources of New Water just waiting to be tapped.
The potential is there. What is needed is more research based on the hundreds of leads and research assembled by Michael Salzman... and drilling of test deep wells!
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