Water covers 71% of the earth and is vital in all living things. We literally cannot exist without it. We are somewhere between 50% water and 75% water depending on age and size. What’s strange is that even with this knowledge, we still treat water with complete and utter carelessness.
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is just one of many all too recent incidents that remind us of a long, shameful history of water politics. What should be a basic human right is regarded as a commodity and tool of political leverage. As early as the late-1800s, Philadelphia was denied a water filtration system due to a mixture of corporate bribes, bureaucratic animosity, and politicians siding with their own bottom lines more than scientific fact. By the time Philadelphia had access to clean water in 1908, hundreds of people had died.
The right to clean water is a fight that continues today. In 2012, California became the first state to pass a right-to-water act, classifying “safe, clean, affordable and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes” as a human right. It was a step in the right direction, but it’s an uphill climb in terms of putting that legislation into action.
The bottled water industry is also part of the problem. Nestlé takes millions of gallons of water from Southern California forests, taking a natural resource that should be available to everyone and selling it back to the populace for a profit. In a state struggling with its own drought problems, coupled with the toxic plastic used to make the bottles, this practice makes the overall situation even more troubling.
We’ve always thought of water as the center of everything in life. There’s a sense of peace that comes over us when we’re near bodies of water. If all living things came from the seas—and water is the source of all life—then maybe its time we talk about water the way we talk about God. We’re not particularly religious, but we feel that water is particularly worthy of reverence. All water is holy water, and we just want to give it the respect it deserves.