The Gift of Water

“There is a fish in me,” claimed the poet Carl Sandburg. John Muir said: “Rivers flow not past, but through us." Overly poetic? How about this: “We exist to advance the sources of creation and creativity. Refresh your mind and restore your body. Life. Water. Inspiration.” This message adorns a water bottle – “LIFE WTR” – bottled by PepsiCo and sold for $2 per liter. What runs through us if not “life water”? Our brains and hearts are 75% water. Water isn’t a luxury item. We can survive for only 3-5 days without water. Don’t try this at home.

A Compass of Care: searching for water ethics

Building on this idea of a Cycle, we started our workshop with the Cycle between what we get and what we say thanks for. We called this the 'water ethics cycle' and our goal was to make a 'compass of care' to help guide our way. As students head by to class this month, Great Lakes Commons offers the ideas, processes, and examples below to help spin this water ethics cycle and to create water leaders who know hydrology and how to say thanks.

Common or Commons: looking at how we look at water

What is water? A seemingly simple question but the impacts that flow from your answer shape our delicate relationship with this blue earth.

The “common” ways of looking at water are all around us. Bottled water commercials, conservation campaigns, government plans, purification technologies, recreational dreams, and scientific discoveries all talk about water as a commodity, a resource, a playground, and a chemical bond known as H2O.