The Man and his Work

Global action for man’s water resources

It is time to face the problems of water for Man (I am not interested in water for dinosaurs and my interest in water for mosquitoes depends on Man's interests), by facing them, for two very important reasons, as a total system on a global basis.

First, because water is of eternal value for Nature, for our globe, and for Man. It covers 11% of the global surface and 65-70% of the volume (or weight) of Man's body. We may speak much of oil resources today but in a few generations it will be forgotten and replaced as timber, which was so important for hundreds of thousands of years, has been forgotten as an energy source. But water will remain important.

Second, human action is creating global problems, so solutions must be based on n global scale. We are beginning to make statements and declarations concerning such a global scale, but I feel obliged to proceed to three specific proposals to help such global action. The basic characteristic of these proposals is that they deal with specific dimensions instead of simply reaffirming good intentions. In this way I hope we can begin a specific dialogue on the basis of what has been defined by Protagoras as "Man is the measure of all things".

Paper submitted to the 1st World Congress on Water Resources, organized by the International Water Resources Association, Chicago, Illinois, September 24 - 28, 1973.