Japanese Watersheds

An Island Nation's Freshwater Resources

We think of Japan as an island nation, a nation defined by its shoreline with the Pacific Ocean. And, of course, this is a perfectly legitimate way to envision the country: It certainly is dwarfed by the Pacific. However, like all areas that sustain permanent human populations, it is also home to a number of fresh water sources. And while it is impossible to underestimate the importance of the Pacific to Japanese culture, economy, and psychology, its internal freshwater watersheds are no less important. Simply because its lake and rivers are no less important in terms of the country's psyche does not mean that they are not vital to its people. And yet, like the people of other nations, the Japanese are at times careless of their water sources. Water may be the essence of life, but this does not mean that we...
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