By empowering poor farmers, reviving traditional knowledge and building small rainwater ponds, Indian activist Rajendra Singh has brought five rivers and a thousand villages back to life over the past 30 years. On August 26, Sweden's King Carl Gustav will present the highly reputed Stockholm Water Prize to the rainwater pioneer.
Floods and droughts in many parts of the world are getting ever more frequent and intense. Scientists have long warned that a changing climate is making such weather events more extreme. What is often neglected in the public debate is that the impacts of climate change on flood and drought disasters are exacerbated by environmental destruction.
The Chinese river dolphin has disappeared before our eyes within only two generations. Will we change course before other branches on the tree of life die off? It would be foolish to assume that we can somehow maintain our prosperity and our very future without the rich biodiversity on Planet Earth.
Voters should not expect immediate relief from Proposition 1 for the impacts of the current drought; nor should they expect these funds to be the last investment that is needed for better institutions, smarter planning, and more effective water management strategies. It can be, at best, a down payment on our water future.