07/19/2007 12:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Peru: On the Front Lines of the Water Crisis - Glacial Retreat, Human March

"For the first time in history, we see more people living in the cities than in rural areas... and they are forming larger and larger homeless populations within those cities." That's Brent Stirton, senior photographer for Getty Images, speaking to us about human migrations and climate-related water redistribution in Peru. We hailed Brent on iSight video fresh off the plane from his assignment near Cusco where he was documenting impacts of climate change and water pollution on the diminishing groups of rural pastorialists who, for generations, have existed off of glacial-sourced water supplies. Brent tells us that many of these people moving to the cities are ill-suited to the urban life, driving serious long-term humanitarian concerns. As we see time and again, the front lines of the global freshwater crisis are inexorably intertwined with persistent cultural, environmental, economic and development shifts. We shared Brent's fresh reportage with our audience during "The Future of Water" session at the Aspen Ideas Festival.