Water…If We Don’t See it, is There a Problem?

Summer fun in the city long ago times…

And a fine Tuesday morning to you from here on the porch. It’s been raining quite a bit these last weeks, and when it does, it’s hard to imagine something like water becoming a scarce commodity – and a commodity is how most corporations involved in the taking of our water see this precious and life-sustaining resource. Reading the CEO of Nestle (amongst others) state that water is not a God-given right for humans, but instead, a commodity to be, in his calcified mind and hardened heart, privatized, monetized, and used for profit, I just have to shake my head and wonder at what point he decided the rest of us weren’t human enough to deserve water. Currently, the corporations dealing in buying up water are doing just that. In Nestle’s case, they rape California waters on a regular basis, and corporations will buy and drain the waters in villages across the globe, leaving the local residents just poop out of luck. Somehow, now, that just doesn’t seem right…or even close to human, doing that. I call it Profit-at-any-Cost.

Nevertheless, what I observe – and have over the years – and, as a kid growing up in a big city, is that the only place we really see water is out of the tap; or the fire hydrant, where having the wrench that opened the hydrant in the summer meant a/you were the most popular adult in the street; b/no one told the cops who had the wrench; c/and, as an adult, you could make the best dang spray for the neighborhood kids by pushing your butt back against the open hydrant. But, unless a water main broke, most of us – or I imagine you – ever thought about water and its complexities.

Then, in school, I took classes on Water. I learned about rivers and river systems; water wars (for instance, the ongoing one involving Georgia, Florida, and Alabama), or the one known a bit more widely, all the issues with Water in Southern California and the Southwest. After even more classes on the topic, my thinking about Water began to be clearer…and more worrying in a way. Now, as Droughts become more frequent, and I sadly watch what is happening in Australia, where the Big Drought has been going on for years, and the nation-state doesn’t seem to have addressed the issue much – and certainly not listened to indigenous wisdoms, I realize that here in the United States, most of us have no clue.

No clue, you might say? You know all about water, yes? Are you aware of how many underground aquifers are going dry? What the difference is between water underground that is nearer the surface as opposed to deep aquifers? Have you noticed, if you live in a big city, how so much of the underground systems are crumbling? Of course, most of us know – at least, peripherally – places like Flint, Michigan. There are many more than just Flint, believe me. What I think, is that most of us don’t even think about any of it, as long as our water comes out of the tap. Those like myself, who are on a well, have different issues to keep track of. But, even with wells, most of us – as long as the well pumps and the water comes – don’t give it too much of a thought, at least around these parts.

So, I thought I’d take this week to, just maybe, think about water in our lives, how it is around your neck of the woods, eh? How’s your water? What is it (well, city water, etc.)? I’d sure be interested. Since all water is local, each of us might have a story to share. In the meantime, I’m headed to the kitchen to heat up some water in my kettle and make another cup of coffee. Join me? Water is a fascinating conversation, I assure you. Until then, from the porch, I bid you a mellow day.


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