“For the first time in history, we see more people living in the cities than in rural areas… and they are forming larger and larger homeless populations within those cities.” That’s Brent Stirton, senior photographer for Getty Images, speaking to us this morning about human migrations and climate-related water redistribution in Peru. We hailed Brent on iSight video fresh off the plane from his assignment near Cusco where he was documenting impacts of climate change and water pollution on the diminishing groups of rural pastorialists who, for generations, have existed off of glacial-sourced water supplies. Brent tells us that many of these people moving to the cities are ill-suited to the urban life, driving serious long-term humanitarian concerns. As we see time and again, the front lines of the global freshwater crisis are inexorably intertwined with persistent cultural, economic and development shifts. We’ll be sharing Brent’s fresh reportage with our audience for “The Future of Water” this afternoon in Paepcke Auditorium at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
J. Carl Ganter is co-founder and director of Circle of Blue, the internationally recognized center for original frontline reporting, research, and analysis on resource issues with a focus on the intersection between water, food, and energy.