Our Past 

The problem that the Puroserve whole house water systems are designed to solve—salinity loading—is a modern one, but it actually has ancient roots. Across the span of world history lie the remains of ancient civilizations that relied on farming and irrigation to a fault. Eventually, they withered and died as a result of excess salinity in soil directly related to ignorance of proper water management practices. The Harappa people in the Indus region of ancient India/Pakistan, the Viru Valley culture in Peru, and the Hohokam Indians near Arizona's Salt River are all thought to have declined due to the negative effects of soil salinization.

Among the most prominent examples of a poor water management policy contributing to a civilization's failure is the example of Sumer, the grand ancient Mesopotamian culture that flourished near present-day Iraq nearly 5,000 years ago. The land that the Sumerians settled on was desert, until irrigation via river diversion transformed the area into an oasis of grain fields, palm trees, and grazing land for livestock. Today, the soil around Sumer is salt-encrusted, a telltale sign that the pace of soil salinity outran the ancient Mesopotamians' ability to correct it.

The water that fed the growth of Sumer, which had been diverted from the Euphrates River, lost as much as half its volume through evaporation by the time it arrived at the fields. For this reason the salt levels in the water when it arrived in Sumer were concentrated. Over the centuries, the salt levels in the soil accumulated steadily, eventually ruining the soil quality and breaking the back of the ancient city's food supply, thus killing the city. The collapse must have been terrifying to Sumer's residents and leaders alike, seeing as their knowledge of water chemistry was very limited compared to ours. They may have simply attributed gradually less abundant crop returns as a sign of displeasure from their deities. Fortunately, we live in a modern world where the problems of ancient cities can be analyzed and their lessons applied to our present salinity problems.

 

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