Don’t take water for granted

In his 1987 hit, “Diamonds on the soul of her shoes“, Paul Simon sings:

She said, “You’ve taken me for granted
Because I please you
Wearing these diamonds”

This lyric, although a bit paradoxical, has always resonated with me, and I’ve applied it in many “taking-for-granted” situations.

One of them concerns clean water, which most of us have certainly taken for granted, and in a way that is naive (to people who do not have access to affordable, clean water) as well as dangerous (the value of water in our lives is so high — relative to its price — that we do not think of the disastrous consequences of losing access to that water).

Well, it’s worth thinking about, as the end of abundance starts to bite into our water consuming habits.

We have less and less clean water because our actions — direct in terms of mining ground water or polluting surface water and indirect in terms of climate change and water embedded in animal products — are making it so.

And those actions rarely consider what would happen if we had no clean water — let alone no water at all.

“You’ve taken me for granted because I please you, flowing this water”

My one-handed conclusion is that a lot of people are going to be surprised and upset as “their” water disappears in volume, decays in quality and increases in cost, until we no longer take it for granted. Beware.

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Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

3 thoughts on “Don’t take water for granted”

  1. The pace of this water crisis is in slow motion. In California, we have recurring storm systems dump atmospheric rivers of water, and all the mandates of watering your lawn twice a week are out of mind. The snow in the Sierras is plentiful and that will feed water for a year.
    I suspect poorer countries will bear the brunt, they already do.
    I am amazed at how much water we waste here in the US vs. the frugal use in developing parts of Asia and Africa.
    The absurdity of raising animals for food and the embedded water in feed and energy is astounding.
    Not sure I will be too disturbed with all of us in the western world being forced to learn to conserve and use as little as possible.

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