The Environmentalist

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 339–345 | Cite as

A common universe—questionable responses to tropical rainfall and aridity in Africa and Asia

  • William R. Stanley


Much of the world lacks sufficient rainfall to regularly replenish aquifers and surface storage or receives excessive rainfall resulting in serious erosion and health issues by way of water-borne diseases. Residents adjust to these climatic realities in different ways. Desert peoples have learned to conserve water in order to sustain the minimal potable water requirements and agricultural-animal husbandry development necessary for life. In one country, this finely tuned balance between supply and demand has been negatively impacted by political and economic decisions to encourage agricultural exports by mining subsurface fossil aquifers. Governments in tropical regions have been guilty of neglect or worse by failing to provide their peoples with the tools necessary for obtaining safe drinking water. In the former case, mining of subsurface water threatens the very future existence of society. In at least one tropical country, over dependence upon outside agencies to provide what government might best prioritize for its own funding has caused a disconnect between donor expectations and local realities thus delaying eradication of easily preventable diseases.


Potable water Water-borne disease Questionable governance Fossil water mining Subsidized export agriculture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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