An Exercise in Imagination: If Water was at the Table

I have been everywhere: the ocean one day, a river the next, another day inside a pipe, a well, a bucket, a glass.

Me, Meandering


I am flattered so many think about me. The conferences and classes dedicated to all angles about me, the research projects, and activities. Practitioners, researchers, and consumers test me, drink me, use me for growing things and washing others, hoping there is enough of me to go around and that I am good enough to not cause illness.

Not A lot of Me Here


Amid all the management and optimization, dams, filters, ministries dedicated to me, no one has asked me what I want in all this. What if I prefer being dirty and refuse to be trapped in fancy glass bottles atop restaurant tables, or crammed into dark backpacks?

I am honored to be part of spiritual practices, not thrilled when there are threats to fight over me, comforted by cooperation, and fascinated that removing salt from some of my components is even possible.

Practitioners engage stakeholders of me, but where is my place on the negotiating table?

If I had my own twitter account or blog, I would suggest a few things to build on all the excellent efforts to enhance my quantity and quality, and to manage supply and demand:

1. Consider coordinating ‘big’ water and ‘small’ water
Water resources management and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene research could link common and complementary flows in practice. Conceptual links related to micro and macro decision making could provide useful lessons.

Big Water                                                       Little Water

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2. Clarify and Harmonize Water, Energy, Food

To my colleagues, energy, food, climate change, I salute you, and I am thrilled we are thought of together these days. I just ask that boundaries, definitions, and work practices are clarified and harmonized so that we make the most of this opportunity.

My Colleagues Food and Energy
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3. Sustaining Sustainability
If you are going to use me for sustainable development, or make a water service dedicated to me sustainable, scalable, and enabled, please clarify the distinctions and interdependencies.    I love these concepts, but do not always know what to do from project to project.


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