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Document published in the magazine
"Crnica de los Tiempos"
April 2002.

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We are in the year 2070.

I just turned 50 years old, but I look 85.

I experience major kidney problems,
because I drink very little water.

I think that I dont have much more time
to live.

Today, I am the oldest person living in
this society.

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I remember, when I was 5 years old
There were lots of trees in the parks,
houses had beautiful gardens, and I could enjoy long baths and stay in the
shower for one whole hour.

everything was very different.

Now, we have to clean ourselves by using disposable towelettes moisturized
with mineral oil.

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Before, women were proud of their beautiful hair.

Before, my father used to wash his car
with water that came out of a hose.

Today, children find it hard to believe that
one ever could use water to perfom such
a task.

Now, we have to shave our head to keep it clean without using water.
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I remember the many warnings:
But nobody paid attention.
People assumed that water was

Today, rivers, dams, lagoons, and
under-ground water are all
either irremediably polluted or
completely dried up.

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The landscape that surrounds us has turned into nothing more than an
immense desert.

Gastro-intestinal infections, and skin and urinary tract diseases have now
become the main causes of death.

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Industry is paralysed, and the jobless rate reached a dramatic level.
Desalination plants are the main employers.
They give one drinking water instead of a salary.

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People are constantly being mugged for water on the deserted streets.

80% of the food is synthetic.
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Before, it was recommended that an adult drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Today, I am allowed only half a glass.
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Since we cannot wash our clothes, we throw them, which increases the amount
of trash.
We had to go back to using septic tanks, just like in the past century, because
the sewage system stopped working due to the lack of water.

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People look scary: their bodies are weak; parched by extreme dehydration;
covered by sores caused by ultraviolet rays that the atmosphere can no longer
filter since the ozone layer is depleted.
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Due to the dryness of her skin, a young 20 year-old woman looks more like 40.

The lack of trees reduces the amount of oxygen available, which
in turn lowers the intellectual quotient of up-coming generations.
Scientists perform all types of research
and investigations, but there is no solution
in sight.
We cannot produce water.
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The morphology of many individuals spermatozoa was altered...
which results in children being
born with all sorts of deficiencies,
mutations and malformations.
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The government even makes us pay a tax for the air we breathe:
137 m3 per adult per day.
[31,102 gallons]
Those who cant pay the tax are
expulsed from the ventilated areas
that are equipped with gigantic
mechanical lungs, powered by solar
The air supplied in the ventilated areas is not of very good quality, but at least
one can breathe there.
The average age is 35.
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Some countries succeeded in preserving a few islands of vegetation with their
own streams. These areas are closely monitored by the army.
Water has become a rare
commodity, a highly sought after
treasure, infinitely more valuable
than gold or diamonds.
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Here, though, there are no more trees because it hardly ever rains. And
whenever it does rain, it is acid rain that comes down.
There are no more seasons. Climatic
changes such as the greenhouse effect
and the polluting activities we indulged in
during the twentieth century took care of
We were warned about the need to take care of our environment, but nobody

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When my daughter asks me to tell her how it was when I was young, I describe
the beauty of the forests.
I tell her about the rain, about the
flowers, about how pleasurable it was
to bathe, to fish in the rivers and the
lakes, and being able to drink as much
water as one desired.
I tell her about how healthy people
used to be.
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She asks me:
I feel a lump in my throat...
- Daddy! Why is there no water anymore ?

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I cant help feeling guilty, because I
belong to the generation that
completed the destruction of our
environment by simply not taking
seriously any of the warnings ... and
there were so many of them!

I belong to the last generation who
could have made a difference, but who
chose not to act.
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Today, our children pay the hefty
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Quite frankly, I think that, within short, life on this Earth will no longer be
possible, because the destruction of our environment reached its point of no

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How I wish I could go back in time and get the Human race to understand
this ...
... at a time when it was still possible for us to do something
to save our planet Earth!
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Send this letter to all your contacts and
contribute, even if it is only by a fraction, to
the necessary global awareness on the
water issue.

This is no game, it is already our reality.
Do it for your children; if you dont have any
yet, maybe you will some day.

Dont leave them hell as a legacy ... Leave
them life!
Auteur : Ria Ellwanger, en collaboration avec Lopez Chavez Ariel Alahin,
Texte : revue "Crnica de los Tiempos, davril 2002.
Musique: Chopin - Tristesse
Images : Getty Images
Traduction franaise maison: Eva Sagasti
Free English translation: Daniel T. Brunner