Alarm bell sounded at Menomonie conference on clean water

MENOMONIE — The faucets are running dry even across America, a former senior water adviser to the United Nations told an environmental forum Thursday at UW-Stout.

Maude Barlow was one of the keynote speakers at the fifth annual Red Cedar Watershed Conference. A record 400 people were in attendance, including state and local government leaders, environmental officials, farmers and educators.

About two-thirds of the world’s population is in a water drought at least one month a year, she said. Since 1990, 26,000 of 50,000 major rivers in China have disappeared. As the Amazon rainforest is cut down, the southern portion of Brazil is running out of water and suffering drought conditions never seen before, Barlow said.