During the past 60 years, the fresh water available per person has decreased fourfold. Of the water that is available, about 70 percent is already used for agriculture. Many rivers no longer flow all the way to the sea, half of the world's wetlands have disappeared, and major groundwater aquifers are being mined unsustainably, with water tables in some parts of the world declining by as much as one meter per year.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has described water as “the biggest environmental and political challenge of our time.” Is he correct?

Join the conversation Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Rockport Public Library as part of the free discussion series offered in anticipation of the February 2014 Camden Conference — The Global Politics of Food and Water.

Like a book group, but requiring less preparation, the Camden Conference Discussion Series promotes thoughtful, engaged dialogue at each session around a set of articles and videos—some essential, others optional—.that provide a context for conversation.

Please visit camdenconference.org for a complete reading. Alternatively, hard copies of the essential articles will be available at the library circulation desk or the articles can be viewed on the public computers available at the library.

The 27th Annual Camden Conference will be held Feb. 21-23, 2014. For more information, visit camdenconference.org, email info@camdenconference.org, or call 236-1034.