Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, means the land between rivers. It is where the wheel was invented, irrigated farming flourished, and the earliest known system of writing emerged. The rivers here, some scholars say, fed the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon and converged at the place described in the Bible as the Garden of Eden.
Now, so little water remains in some villages near the Euphrates River that families are dismantling their homes, brick by brick, piling them into pickup trucks — window frames, doors and all — and driving away.
More than a cautionary tale, it’s a disturbing pattern being repeated in diverse locations throughout the world. The causes are diverse—climate change, upstream diversion, overextraction, unsustainable agricultural practices, lack of government regulation or enforcement, a combination of the above—but the outcomes are the same. There is simply not enough water to supply all takers, and that which remains may be unfit for human consumption.
Terrell’s experience and knowledge of water issues is vast. His presentation will open a window into the emerging global water crisis and provide context for these issues in Mexico as well as here in San Miguel and surrounding communities.
Dylan Terrell is the Founder and Executive Director of the San Miguel-based nonprofit Caminos de Agua. He lives in San Miguel with his wife Pilar and daughter Lucía.