Proposals for Problem Solving
We would like to suggest ideal society we think as proposal of the solutions to the problems based on our research.
Our findings indicates that there are countries which can secure water and solve water scarcity by importing food or desalinating seawater in spite of little water resources. In the same time, there are countries suffer from not getting access to safe water due to economic reasons.
Fortunately, Japan, which we live in, has been well endowed with water resources since the ancient times. We can get access to safe water easily. Therefore, Japanese unique culture such as hot springs has been developed. As people who were born in countries which have abundant water resources like us, still need to pay attention to water problems in the world as well as appreciate water and enjoy ours own cultures.
Everyone should recognize that there are many countries suffering from the lack of water resources in the world. Additionally, there are many people suffer from diseases and cannot go to school because of the lack in water resources. Raising the awareness is the first step towards solving the problems. If people all over the world do that, countries which are poor in water resources will be paid more attention. Then international aids to countries which are poor in water resources become popular.
Although we cannot reduce the difference in water conditions between countries due to natural conditions, we can offer people the opportunity to get access to safe water equally by cooperating with countries around the world and improving infrastructures. Insanitary surroundings can leads death to people and hard labor such as drawing water can deprive them of time to work or study. By offering everyone the equal opportunity to water, we can save people from dying from the reason and give them opportunity to work or study.
Our ideal society is where everyone in the world can live humanly and freely.
With the development of technology, the globalization has been advanced. We can easily get various information about remote countries through Internet or TV. Nowadays, if we ask people“Can you think of matters which are far from you as one which you have something to do with?”, few people would say yes.
However, to deal with water problem, it could be the key how to fill the gap, “distance”.
We learned two things through our research activities.
The first is that taking environmental issues not as “incidents in a certain county” but as our own issues is important. We realized that we should take a relationship between other country into consideration through questions like “why did the issue happen?” or “How about countries which have close relations with Japan?” and so on. Then, we should try to resolve environmental issues as our own problems.
In order to resolve them as our own problems, we should know social problems including water problem. We think that studying social problems like environmental problems and SDGs or efforts at education places like a school helps people understand social problems. So, such opportunities to study should increase.
The second is “telecoupling”. “Tele” means far and “coupling” refers to connection.
Telecoupling refers to socioeconomic and environmental interactions between distant coupled human and natural systems. For instance, thinking there is any interaction between Japanese and rainforest in Brazil is one of telecoupling.
It is our first time heard about telecoupling. However, we realized that we have been using it unconsciously and repeatedly. Telecoupling is essential to solving the water problems in the word. By doing so, everyone in the world can think problems of remote areas as our own problems.
We realized that seeing the problem in multiscale is important. For example, thinking about only Japan, it might be okay to import virtual water when keeping Japanese environment good even if we damage foreign environment through it.
However, when think about world as a whole, it is a big problem that environmental destruction is occurred because of some countries import or export virtual water a lot. We believe that thinking about sustainability on each scale link with formation of a real sustainable society.
“Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel Prize - one for peace and one for science.” By John F. Kennedy
We cannot solve global water issues alone. For example, even if someone prepare sewage treatment plants as measures against contamination of lakes, we cannot solve pollution of lakes without stopping pesticide spills.
Even virtual water, exporting countries try to continue exporting with preserving environment, if importing countries keep demanding low price, cost for environmental preservation is lost. How about we consumers thinking about “Is this product traded at a reasonable price?” “Is this product taken care of the environment?”,, first? Water problem is a big problem and problem solving is so meaningful like John F. Kennedy’s words.
Let us start walking toward solving water problems with us!