James Workman

The most dramatic freshwater news stories of 2011 literally broke wide open in the Pacific Northwest’s hydropowered region, as two major Washington currents were unplugged in in order to replenish an endangered, iconic, transrational species of fish. In that same spirit of silent wonder, and agape, the following 318 words began to arrange and then unglue themselves to honor these inspired, extraordinary events.

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Heavy hitters in the water world met at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on September 16 for a public-awareness marketing campaign. But who is the target audience? And what message do they need to hear?

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Kader Asmal, South Africa's first democratic Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry, was a "tireless advocate for human rights," and shifted the country's policies to help bring water to arid rural lands and urban slums such as Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. Photo ©J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue

When Nelson Mandela named South Africa’s first democratic Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry – a futile effort to keep his outspoken, irascible, chain-smoking friend out of trouble – Kader Asmal claimed ignorance about the rudimentary basics of his new portfolio.

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Set aside warm and fuzzy emotion, and use cold logic to revalue our matrix of life.

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In the U.S. a fifth of all energy may be consumed by water, and the biggest use of water – 42% by some estimates – is for energy.

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Workman says chances of the Botswanian government returning water rights to the Bushmen as ‘pretty slim.’

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James G. Workman reflects on a recent ruling that compromises the water rights of the Bushmen.

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The final installment of our seven-part series of excerpts from James G. Workman’s Heart of Dryness examines how we define water rights for the Bushmen in Botswana as well as suburbanites in the U.S.

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“…for every Bushman caught, accused, arrested and roughed up, several others sneaked in to gather or hunt, preferring to live freely without official help, without water that had strings attached.”

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The fifth installment of Workman’s book details the Bushmen’s painful legal battle for water access against the Botswana government, which had begun to use “intentional, compulsory thirst” on the indigenous community. Left little choice, the Bushmen pursued court action to make access to water a fundamental human right.

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In the fourth installment of Heart of Dryness, author James G. Workman explains the historic transformation of water across Botswana’s Kalahari. Workman continues to follow Qoroxloo, showing how the Bushmen have adapted to water scarcity and fluctuating hydrology.

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In the third installment of Climate Change Coping Strategies excerpts from James G. Workman’s Heart of Dryness we reveal the struggle to develop effective infrastructure in the face of climate change.

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The second installment Climate Change Coping Strategies of excerpts from James G. Workman’s Heart of Dryness

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Since the dawn of Homo sapiens in arid Africa, nine tenths of our evolution has unfolded as foragers. Only relatively recently did our species embark on agriculture, and recent events suggest certain limits to that extraordinary experiment. Exponential population growth has combined with unprecedented climate change until half the planet’s land surface can now be classified as drylands—arid landscapes inhabited by a third of humankind.

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Video: James G. Workman Discusses the Water and Climate Issues that Haunt Botswana's Bushmen

The video above and corresponding transcript below are a Q&A author James G. Workman did with the book’s publishers, Walker & Company.

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