Water is the driving force of all nature.
~ Leonardo da Vinci
Water is one of the most important elements for life. And human history may be traced through people’s need for, innovations concerning, and use (or misuse) of water. Solomon’s Temple could not have been built without the water by which the cedars of Lebanon were floated to the sacred site. Cyrene was founded because ancient Greek residents of Thera (now Santorini) left land choked by drought to find fertile ground in Libya. What would Rome be without the fountains; the very word “pontiff” refers to the special authority the Pope had to built bridges (pontifex) over the Tiber River. Waterways such as the Grand Canal of China and the Canal des Deux Mers of France were the forerunners of floating transport routes that changed the world as much as the Suez and Panama Canals do today. Water is also power; hydroelectric achievements from the Hoover Dam to Itaipu created new sources of energy. And water continues to be the quest even of space exploration with tests for the element on the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.