Nor any drop to drink by Trevor, Angela and Emily. Thoughts on the importance of water
We need to take water more seriously. As we focus on saving electricity and oil, we need to educate ourselves into more intelligent use of clean water.
Don’t waste it
At home, habits like running taps and poorly planned hose use could be easily corrected, but commercial abuse is where the main threats lie. Dairy farmers use billions of litres for sterilizing and cleaning procedures; surely a lot could be recycled? Soft drink manufacturers are returning huge profits by producing untold amounts of what is medically accepted as gutrot, but paying very little for water extraction.
Don’t export it
The worldwide fad or necessity for bottled water is a joke in New Zealand where some are forced to boil drinking water in drought stricken parts of the south, while up here hundreds were recently laid low by water born pollutants. At the same time we learn that yet another company has been granted the right to extract millions of litres of pure water per day for export by tanker ships.
Don’t take it for granted
We need to remind ourselves that we live away from heavy industry, overpopulation and their associated environmental problems. To continue to enjoy all that we have, we need to attach a high value to things that really matter, like water.
Water means life
We human beings can’t live without water; neither can plants grow and bear flowers or fruit. We can live for a while without food, but not without water; dehydration leads to death. The water that we drink must be clean and purified; millions of people have no access to clean water – they catch diseases and sometimes they die.
Water means death
When water breaks its boundaries it brings floods and disaster. In Peru now there is devastation caused by mudslides and overflowing rivers. Stranded on the rooftops of their ruined homes, people ironically need the one thing they see everywhere they look: water. Since January, 75 people have died in natural disasters triggered by El Nino and nearly 100,000 have lost their homes.
Water demands respect and care
In some places, humans have attributed special powers to water. On 20 March 2017 the Ganges River was recognised by law as the ‘first living entity of India’. The decision means that the Ganges will now be entitled to all rights available to humans as enshrined in the constitution of India. The Ganges has for centuries been the most sacred river to Hindus who worship it as the goddess Ganga.
A few days before that on 15 March 2017, a river in New Zealand was recognised by parliament as a living entity with its own rights and values and given the legal status of a person. The Whanganui River, located in the north island of New Zealand, has a special and spiritual importance for Maori. The New Zealand Parliament passed a bill which gives the river the ability to represent itself through human representatives, one appointed by a Maori community (iwi), and one by the Crown.
Our roving correspondent and third member was busy earning a living, but was able to spare a moment to give us this succinct quote:
“I have no interest in water except for the important fact that is a vital ingredient in the production of beer.”