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July 23, 2008

New Tomdispatch

I love love love clean water. I love drinking it, I love swimming in it, and I love filling balloons with it to throw at people who have disrespected me.

Life without abundant clean water is a nightmare. So it would be nice if we acted like it were important.

Perhaps you have your own thoughts about water you'd like to share.


Our National Water Policy…
Oh, Wait, We Don't Have One

By Elizabeth de la Vega

"Lisa, the whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rainforest scare a few years back. Our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?" -- Homer Simpson

On June 24, 2008, Louie and I curled up on the couch to watch seven of the nation's foremost water resources experts testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

This was a new experience for us. For my part, the issue to be addressed -- "Comprehensive Watershed Management Planning" -- was certainly a change of pace from the subjects I ordinarily follow in Judiciary and Intelligence Committee hearings. I wasn't even entirely sure what a "watershed" was. I knew that, in a metaphorical sense, the word referred to a turning point, but I was a bit fuzzy about its meaning in the world of hydrology. (It's the term used to describe "all land and water areas that drain toward a river or lake.")

What was strange from Louie's point of view was not the topic of the day, but that we were stuck in the house. Usually at that hour, we'd be working in the backyard, where he can better leverage his skill set, which includes chasing squirrels, digging up tomato plants, eating wicker patio chairs, etc. On this particular afternoon, however, the typically cornflower-blue San Jose sky was the color of wet cement, and thick soot was charging down from the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. Sitting outside would have been about as pleasant as relaxing in a large ashtray.

It would have been difficult, on such a day, not to think about water.

The rest.

Posted at July 23, 2008 09:12 AM

I am grateful that I live high up in the mountains. Wyoming is the least populated state( 450,000 in an area of roughly 160,000 sq miles). I live by a stream fed by snow melt which is crystal clear except after heavy rains and I breathe the cleanest air in this country. I count these as the greatest blessings. Clean air, clean water, its just the BEST health insurance. How many federal reserve notes would YOU be willing to give for just that?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 23, 2008 12:14 PM

To be fair, Jon, there's no reason the water balloons need to be filled with clean water.

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at July 23, 2008 03:38 PM

I am grateful I live in a large city that had the foresight a century ago to build beautiful pipes, which still work, to bring snowmelt and fresh water from the Catskills to the eight million people of New York, whose tap water is famously healthy, tested and delicious.

Posted by: Seth at July 23, 2008 10:30 PM