Water as the source of life

Our planet is unique, because on its surface and in the depths there is water, which allows life to exist. All living things on our planet exist thanks to water, including human beings. The human body is 60-80% composed of water and 70% of the surface of the Earth is covered with water too. This means that there is a continuous link between life and waterin the nature.

It is fair to say that water is a gift to humanity, which, unfortunately, it does not appreciate. Man became the creator of such cataclysms as melting glaciers, pollution of the world ocean, the drying out of most rivers, which had a negative impact on the biosphere as a holistic system. It is not a secret to anyone that the state of human health is directly related to water quality.

There are four different problems with water in our countries: the quality of drinking water, the ecological situation that is surrounding our cities, the water management rights, and the cooperative model of water administration. All of these issues united by the main idea which is that water is a public good and belongs to everyone, therefore we must protect water as our legacy for those who come after us, so that future generations will be able to enjoy pure drinking water, and universal access to it!

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Both Kazakhstan and Greece have a huge tradition related to water! And also both countries have been through many difficulties to keep their waters save and contain them into a good condition.

Greece is a country surrounded by water. Her location, at the end of the Balkan Peninsula, allows the residents to be in constant avocation with it irrespectively of the altitude and the distance from the sea. Beautiful islands, crystal clear beaches, huge rivers and magnificent harbors are a few examples of the close relationship Greeks get with water. From the ancients eras up to nowadays water owns a special place in people’s everyday life. Its multiple uses and its availability make it the most important part of our survival. And it is that importance that has attracted many over the years to a try making water a privet acquisition.

Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources. But our tragedy is the environmental problems arising from the recycling of natural resources. For more than 20 years there has been a high level of ecological diseases. To confirm this fact, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakitzhan Sagintayev notes a high incidence of cancer in those regions of the North-Kazakhstan region, where uranium mines are located. This situation is noted in our Aiyrtau district. The incidence rates of malignant neoplasms in the area averaged 89 per 1000 people over the past five years.

Water is a public good and we should pay the corresponding attention to who we give the management rights of it. Whoever has the power to control water, has also the power to control our lives.

The Greek team worked on a project about how citizens could become drinking water administrators, through social non profitable cooperatives and also interviewed Mr. Kosta Nikolaou a chemist and environmentalist, author of the book “Water as a common good beyond corporations and the state”. He is teaching Ecology and Social Solidarity Economics at the Pedagogical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Popular University. He is a professor – Environmental Planning Consultant at the Hellenic Open University.

We did notice that, based on global studies, the cooperative non profitable model of water administration is the most effective one. Cooperatives can prevent of selling the water rights and moreover can guarantee that no resided will have his water supply cut down due to any kind of financial problems.

At the same time the Kazakhstan colleagues, took an interview from the honored Kazakhstan Journalist T.N. Zhalmurzenov and communicated with the local population, participated in the environmental campaign “Clean beaches”, ennobled the springs that had opened on the shore of the Lake Saumalkol. The fate of this lake has worried all the locals for many years. Ichthyoflora and ichthyofauna of the lake is almost destroyed as the result of irresponsible and consumer attitude of a person. In the past it was the large, deep and clean lake where there were a lot of fish. The lake saved hundreds of lives from imminent death from starvation in the war years. Local authorities have made attempts to restore and clean the lake, we proposed to build sewage sump for further purification before descending into the lake, but the lack of funding does not allow solving the problem radically.

There is a canned industrial site of uranium deposits in Aiyrtau region. This mine is a potential source of radioactivity. The Sanitary-Epidemiological Expertise Center (SEEC) in the North Kazakhstan region conducted a number of examinations of water in Aiyrtau region.

Furthermore we searched for new water sources in our cities. Right now Thessaloniki derives water from a Greek river named Aliakmonas while Saumalkol receives water from the reservoir “Sergeevskoe”. We conclude that a good idea would be to use sea salt water as drinking water. Only after processing it using renewable energy. Though we still concern about the quality of water, the use of sea water is a solution with future prospects!

Our cities might have faced many difficulties but never gave up and never will! Our research taught us that we are ready to make the change and we should care and appreciate more the goods around us! We might won a fight but we still have a war to win! Water belongs to everyone and it’s our obligation to keep it a public good! So that we won’t reach a time when the inhabitants will not have access to the waters that are rightfully theirs!

We must save water as a source of life for those who come after us. We hope that we will be heard and those people who can help us will do it. There are many cities long to be saved!

Alexandra Atmatzidou, Xristina Loggou, Giorgios Toumpoulidhs (Greece)
Dariya Mikhailenko, Daniil Mikhailenko, Daniil Koshelev, Diana Iliyasova, Ekaterina Mashchenko (Kazakhstan)

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Coordinator 20 Апр 2018 в Природа.

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