Thursday, May 28, 2015

Waterboy, Where Are You Hiding?

The country is no longer divided into Blue and Red. We are now Green and Brown depending on which side of the Mississippi you find yourself. If they would only share their rainwater we’d gladly give up a piece of our sun. After all it’s our El Nino that produced much of their deluge.

Never mind the Keystone oil pipeline. We thirst for their lakes. They have five of them, all Great and could spare a couple. Fair is fair. We’re even getting nostalgic for puddles. We’ve lost our lawns. Soon California will look like the color of pebbles. And I may end up a flower with my parched mouth open.

This could be pay-back for all the water-boarding we did.  Zeus works in mysterious ways ever since he fell from grace off Mt. Olympus. In the not too distant future, while Bernie Sanders is completing his second presidential term, we may find ourselves engaged in water wars…and not fought with water pistols.

In fact recent wars in Africa, in Sudan and Rwanda, have water sources as a major cause. Yemen is both the poorest and driest country in the Arab world. The Middle East which comprise 5% of the world’s population relies on just 1% of available fresh water. It has been noted that water is a far more precious commodity than oil in that region.

Desalination may be an answer but cost and environmental damage have been great challenges. The largest such plant in the Western Hemisphere will be up and running next year in Carlsbad providing 50 million gallons of water per day to San Diego County. The water use in this country is indefensible. The average American accounts for 176 gallons/day compared to 5 gallons in Africa. Of course these figures include agriculture, industrial use and golf courses. 

It has been 102 years since we drained dry the Owens River with the first aqueduct, thanks to lies, bribery and an occasional murder. Of such stuff Academy Award movies are made.

Mea Culpa for all the water I’ve let go down the drain in my lifetime (until recently) while brushing teeth. Then there are the long showers I took while singing arias from Gilbert & Sullivan. The drippy faucets I didn’t get new washers for. The fire hydrant water in sweltering July NYC I sloshed around in my early days. And that extra ice cube I didn’t really require in my vodka & tonic. Next time I promise to hold the rocks.

Where are you hiding?
If you don’t come real soon
Gonna tell your papa.

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