Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Precious

A Reuters story in the NYTimes paints a picture of a small Brazilian town, Macae. The town is experiencing growing pains -- in a huge way -- because of an influx of oil revenue.

Macae, Brazil photo by dmatkins | thumbnail version
by dmatkins at
In Brazil Oil Town, Water is a Precious Commodity
Reuters at

It's kind of a typical industrialization story -- where the infrastructure of the region can't keep up with the growth and the influx of people brought by the new wealth.

I can't entirely understand the layout of the water distribution from the article, but it sounds like there is one centralized pipe "attached to the city's main system," to which people attach their own "make-shift" pumps. A sub-industry is cropping up where by people pump and store water then resell it -- for a little under $5 a gallon.

Well, one can complain all they want about $5 a gallon gas...

I wonder what the price of soda is.
I wonder how they are tending gardens. Are the gardens dying? Are the pets running away from thirst? How long would people go without water in lieu of giving up the comforts of oil and the money of oil -- of transportation and modern conveniences...

What really caught my eye was this graph -- the second in the article:

"Oil and gas may have brought riches to the former fishing village but water is almost as precious."

Water is almost as precious as oil.

"The most common health malady that occurs in our body due to lack of proper amount of water in our systems is dehydration. This dilemma may provoke many other diseases. Heartburn, headache, back pain, pain in the legs, daytime fatigue, and rheumatoid pain are some of the adverse effects of dehydration. Dehydration generally occurs when the body starts squeezing water from its tissues, brain and skin." This from an article titled "The Health Effects of Drinking Water."

Elements; primary needs. Water.

"Water is a universal solvent and thus plays an important role as a media to carry and distribute the metabolites, hormones and other material around the body and within the cell. Many solutes are also dissolved within it, so it's also essential for health, growth, stamina, building muscle and development. Energy reactions also take place in this medium."

Our bodies are about 70% water. Our earth is about 70% water. It's a nice symmetry, isn't it. A frightening parallel of treatment, too.

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