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Dear Humans – An Appeal from Water to the World’s Leaders

by Guy Dauncey, Dec. 18th, 2012

Dear Humans,
You yearn for me. If you don't see me daily, you feel you’re going to die. Some days you’re lucky, since I’m all over you. But at other times I disappear for months on end, yet still you thirst for me.

I am water, your lover. Without me, you are nothing. Your United Nations has declared me indispensable, if you want to lead your lives in dignity. They say I am a prerequisite for the realization of all your other rights.Why then, do you treat me so disrespectfully?

I love our planet, and I have great hopes for our future. But you and me – there’s a few things we need to talk about.

Why are you draining my aquifers? Why are you polluting me with chemicals? Why are you so careless in the way you collect me? Why do so many people have no access to me, when I fall so cleanly from the sky?

And my brother Energy - he wants to know why you go on digging up his ancient fossil ancestors, when he has so much clean energy to give you every day? Why pollute our oceans and atmosphere with all that ancient carbon, he asks, when he has such a daily abundance of solar, wind and ocean energy? Why, when the carbon is melting the Arctic, and the glaciers that feed my rivers – the rivers you depend on?

We’d like you to get your act together. And since you’re meeting at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2013, it seems that would be a really good time to address my concerns.

You’ve got some really smart people. Your folks at Circle of Blue have already consulted your best experts, who have laid out the Top Nineteen Solutions to my crisis.

You know how to recycle wastewater into clean drinking water. You know how to harvest me on parched farmlands, using check dams, farm ponds and dyked pastures. You know that ten one-hectare catchment dams will store much more of me than one ten-hectare dam.

You know how to build solar desalination plants, enabling me to work with my brother in harmony. You know how your corporations can manufacture goods in a much more sustainable manner, and how farmers can use intensive livestock management to store so much more of me in the soil, along with more carbon.

You know how to write building codes that require composting toilets, greywater recycling and water recycling, and how to create local utilities with community governance that teach conservation, price us for conservation, and build partnerships to use your wastes to fertilize algae and biofuel crops.

This could be such fun! You don’t need to sell me in plastic bottles. Just use your intelligence!

Why don’t you get your leaders together to write a Global Renewable Energy Solutions Treaty, through which the nations that sign on agree to accelerate their annual rollout of solar, wind and ocean energy, thereby helping prices to fall?

Why don’t you write a similar Global Water Solutions Treaty, through which the nations that sign on commit to implement a package of the smartest water conservation solutions, with a comparative scorecard to measure annual progress? If you need smarter technologies, I’m sure the folks at the X-Prize could help.

I love you. You know that. So please, let’s make this work.

Your friend and lover, Water

PS – I am submitting this to the Masdar water energy nexus blogging contest.  See you in Abu Dhabi!

Featured Quote
Anyone who thinks that an economy can be expanded for ever,
within the confines of a finite planet, is either a madman or an economist'
- Economist Kenneth Boulding.
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