A water drop
sliding from the faucet
responds to the pull of gravity,
follows the path
of least resistance. It will
find its own way back to the Source,
flowing through, over, under
or around any obstacles it encounters.
Have you ever observed
how the water molecule
cannot be separated
from others of its kind,
or how water assumes the shape
of whatever it is poured into,
or how amenable it is to change?
Have you allowed yourself imagine
the lengths to which water must go
before it returns to us,
as runoff, rain, mist, ice or snow?
What do you do with the knowledge
that six-tenths of you is water?
Do you wonder what would happen to you,
to everything you can see, touch, taste, feel, smell,
if water went away?
When I was a teenager living in Rangoon, Burma in the 1950’s, water was not the reliable resource we take for granted here. From 2-4 pm every day, water came through the tap, courtesy the municipality, and it was our job to store it in large wooden barrels located in the kitchen and bathrooms, to satisfy all our household and personal needs, including manually flushing the toilets. Water wasn’t safe to drink without additional treatment. We stored drinking and cooking water in recycled liquor bottles, and although I’d never heard of ‘gray water’ then, it was exactly what we were using for the small grove of bananas in our backyard and flowers in the front.
It was a lesson about how precious water is that I’m glad to say I have carried with me into adult- and elder-hood. It really resonates today in South Florida where I live now, at risk from too much of one kind (storm-driven flooding, beach erosion, and salt-contamination) and not enough of the other kind (fresh waters springs like Grassy Waters which supplies West Palm Beach).
If you think that a water crisis here (the topic of sea level rise is on most municipal agendas) will arrive before we feel the effects of higher prices for fossil fuels and everything that depends on them, you may want to deepen your own education about water as well as water usage awareness (Navy showers, anyone?) Which is probably why I stumbled upon Last Call at the Oasis (Pivot TV) one rainy (yes!) evening and was reminded just how extreme the water issue is. It isn’t just that huge swathes of the Western United States and Australia are suffering severe, crippling drought. It is also that our predominant way of farming is poisoning our water supply even as its adherents (chiefly the biotech companies who profit mightily from pesticides and herbicides) claim we couldn’t live without their help. And it’s also that energy generation itself takes water to produce (see the University of Colorado link below), lots of it.
If you are like most people (myself included) you find education without the aura of crisis is much easier to absorb and process (which is the problem with so much that is written about climate change and the environment these days). But I’m ready to swallow the pill, however bitter, if it means I can make some better, wiser choices about my future, and help others do the same. Here are a few links to information I’m working with.
Water – University of Colorado Boulder – see the other videos too