Sinking down, deeper down,
Oh, we’ll sink it deeper down.
As the drill is plugging downward at a thousand feet of level
If the Lord won’t send us water, oh, well, we’ll get it from the devil
Yes we’ll get it from the devil deeper down.
(Banjo Paterson, 1896)
Her research comes up with
Add to this water hungry development and unregulated extraction of groundwater and you have “a race to the bottom.” All of this coincides with my experiences with groundwater in India.
I surveyed the city of Gurgaon while interning with an NGO, looking for potential areas for groundwater recharge and water treatment. This city near New Delhi suddenly has popped out of seemingly nowhere with tall buildings occupied by multinationals and hip young people. Decked out with fast food joints, shopping malls and company offices, the thing that has gotten left for figuring out later is water. Now that the water table is dropping at alarming rates, a community group asked the NGO to help, as they cannot wait for the government to get its act together before it all runs dry.
|Gurgaon at night (Kirk Kittell)|
Water comes from a variety of sources—all interconnected. God apparently gives us water from the sky; the devil, from the ground. In ancient India, the Ganges River is a goddess who fell from great heights; and today we talk about sea level rise from Arctic glaciers via the magic of meteorology.
In some ways though, it seems rather appropriate to think of extracted water as coming from the devil. The devil works in mysterious ways. It all is quite good at the start. Then at some point we reach the bottom, and everything is gone. And all that is then left to be done is to dry up and fade away.
Cross-post from the BERC Blog.