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Google Alert for : desertification
Ing. Michal Kravčík, CSc.,
Civic Association, People and Water, from Košice, Slovakia, Europe (Ľudia a voda, občianske združenie, Košice, Slovakia, Europe)The topic of this paper is very serious. It is about blooming or dying of a series of civilizations in our contemporary world. In the past, humanity feared the threats of various foretold catastrophes that, luckily, did not come true at all. However, the threat I am going to speak about, unfortunately, materialized itself many times in the history of mankind. From the history, we know civilizations like Mesopotamia, Persia, the cultures in the Middle East, Egypt or the Indian cultures in both North and South America and many other ones that would develop on fertile lands, covered with rich vegetation and abundant water supplies. Yet, many of them caused their own decay or even extinction as a result of the degradation of their own water resources. Nowadays, when archaeologists dig out artefacts and proofs of their prosperity from the sand of deserts, the idea that they fell and died because of a process that is in full swing in our societies never occurs to us. Therefore, this paper shall deal with the endangerment of current civilizations by desertification, but also with the causes of extreme rainwaters, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, draughts, and indirectly, with hunger and poverty too. In my paper, I would like to explain the causes of these phenomena resulting from the changes in water cycle due to human activities; I shall also give you examples from the country I am coming from, i.e. Central Europe, and I shall try to quantify the deficit of water cycle that manifests itself as a result of human activities. Finally, I would like to present you our solution: it is the retention of rainwater within the country or commonly known as rainwater harvesting. The intention of this paper is to convince you that the comprehensive program of rainwater harvesting is an efficient remedy for most of the mentioned problems and to challenge you to take practical actions in this field.