Water and Sustainability take home questions, short essay

Preamble (READ this first)

Answer the following questions as completely and concisely as possible.  Organize your thoughts before you begin writing.  Insert the space you need between the questions and erase the questions you aren’t addressing.

For essay questions, cite your sources of information if you are drawing from any readings to support your points!  Write thoughtful paragraph or two for 3-4 point questions.  Don’t waste space simply restating the question.

Note that 3 point questions deserve more thought and detail than do 2 point questions.  Ditto for 4 point questions vs. 3 point questions.

Part 1 – Take 2 on the Initial Essay Prompt

Here at the end of this course, I want to get an idea of what you know now about the interrelationships between water, agriculture, and sustainability. To help me with this, please write 4-6 paragraphs in response to the following questions.

  1. In what ways do problems in water availability and/or quality vary from region to region? (4pts, one could write on and on in response to this… but keep it to 2 paragraphs)
  2. What are the objectives when striving for sustainability? (2pts – one paragraph)
  3. How can we improve water sustainability for domestic and agricultural uses? (4pts – one to two paragraphs)
  4. How does any of this relate to you? (2pts – one paragraph)

You are encouraged to incorporate examples to support your points.  If you don’t have much to share on these topics, you can reflect on why you think that is the case.

Part 2 – Some Course Feedback

 

    1. Which of the course readings did you think were the best? Why? (2pts)

(I will upload some readings files from our courses, then you can write a reflection on one of them)

 

 

Part 3 – Water Issues

 

  1. 6. Answer one of the following two questions (a or b).

 

  1. a) What are the pros and cons of greater reliance on virtual water for those importing regions dealing with water scarcity? What should be done to make the trade of virtual water more sustainable? (3pts – A table with pros and cons would be a nice accompaniment to your analysis, though it won’t suffice by itself.)

 

  1. b) Discuss how being a virtual water exporter (like the U.S.A.) can have negative impacts here at home. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?  Aside from making money, just what are the benefits?  (3pts – two paragraphs or a list of potential impacts plus a paragraph weighing the pros and cons.)

 

  1. 7. Answer one of the following two questions (a or b).

 

  1. a) How much do you think our internal and external water footprint is contributing to the water scarcity or social injustices experienced in many developing countries? Are we committing some sort of ethical crime by buying all those cotton clothes from overseas or wasting our water on non-essentials? (3pts – 1 thoughtful paragraph with some examples.)

 

  1. b) Hoekstra and Chapagain (2008) state the following:

“Equitability and sustainability in water use require the establishment of both minimum water rights and maximum levels of water use.”  Hmmm…

If one accepts that a just and compassionate civilization will recognize a human right to some minimum amount of water and food, does this then “translate into a moral obligation of communities that have abundant water resources at their disposal toward communities with severely limited resources?”  Do we have a moral obligation to eliminate starvation and water stress in far distant lands?  If so, what are the best ways to address these problems and should that include establishing a cap on the U.S.A.’s “reasonable share of the globe’s water resources?”  If you don’t think we have that moral obligation, what lets us off the hook?  (3pts – two yes or no answers to the first 2 questions, then a meaty paragraph addressing either of the highlighted questions.)

(I will upload the article Hoekstra and Chapagain (2008) )

 

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