Back by popular demand, the exploration into the past, present, and futures of water takes you from water management in early human settlements to the Flint Water Crisis.
This course examines the different facets of this simple liquid and its very natures. We will address difficult questions pitting human rights against markets. Who owns water? How should water be owned? In times of scarcity, who gets to drink? What does “safe” water even mean and how can it be ensured in nations both rich and poor?
These are ageless questions and, in exploring them, we will span human history, from water management in early human settlements and Rome to the settling of the Western United States, the rise of bottled water and the tragedy in Flint, Michigan. In our time together, we will look at water through the prisms of history, literature, law, economics, hydrology, and public health. By the end of the course, you will fully appreciate how a clear glass of water provides a powerful prism on the human experience.