Early Civilizations And Water Management

1584 Words Feb 17th, 2016 7 Pages
#1. Water is the mainspring of civilization. This was recognized at the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Water was conceived as the source of all things, eternal and primeval.

In Mesopotamia, Iraq, the god of water, Enki, was entrusted with me, the universal law governing all existence. Enki, whose mother Nammu was no less than the goddess of wisdom, poured water to make the earth fruitful, stocked marshes with fish, and erected sheepfolds. Wisely, he also appointed special deities to oversee his works and innovations.

This early recognition of the link between water management and civilization is the subject of this article. My aim is to clarify how the development of early civilizations and water management has evolved together with mutual interactions.

I will argue that water shortages are nothing new, and that throughout the history of our common human civilization various solutions were implemented to overcome water scarcities and enhance water security. However, I will submit that such solutions were always short-lived a temporary relief because the social and cultural consequences of each solution led to a gradual, cumulative increase in the demand for water.

Civilizations are constrained directly by the quality and quantity of available safe drinking and subsistence water. They are also constrained indirectly by the influence of water on food, energy, transportation, and industry.

Human societies have throughout history found new means to secure…
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