Sunday, July 15, 2012

Divine Water

With all the rain we've had recently, water mightn't be your favourite subject.  But please bear with me . . . water is important.

This week I had reason to visit a local clinic.  Sitting in the waiting-room, my eye was captured by a large water container displayed prominently on a table, it was labelled 'Divine Water'.
Whilst agreeing that water, like everything else, has a divine source, this bottle seemed a little over-eager to establish its credentials.  On closer inspection, I noticed that it even boasted a 'trinity' of taps!

With time to spare, my imagination had a field day.
Why the red one . . . surely this was to quench any fires in the nether regions/  As for the blue one . . . perhaps this was intended to refresh the angels?  And the white tap?  Undoubtedly that was meant for mere colourless mortals like me!

On a more prosaic level, I expect the colouring of the taps denoted the heat of the water available.  But, thinking about this afterwards, it struck me that the three taps carried an additional, and far more serious, message.

As I write this letter, 'Re/Source 2012', a two-day conference in Oxford, has just come to an end.
The speakers included former US President Bill Clinton, Sir David Attenborough and Jonathan Dimbleby, along with the Chancellor of the University of Oxford and the Chairmen of such international companies as Coca-Cola and Nestle.  There has been very little publicity about this conference, but what there was stated that it had been convened 'to generate new ways of thinking about global issues'. Needless to say, one of these issues is the availability of water.

We may be experiencing a sodden summer in theUK, but, worldwide, water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity.  Not only that, the developed world's tendency to lay down concrete and tarmac means that vital water is quickly lost.  Did you know that cotton may soon be a thing of the past?  Apparently the amount of water needed to flood the cotton fields could make the crop unsustainable.

We pollute our water sources with mining, industry and sewage . . . could that be the warning of the red tap?
By paving over our gardens to accommodate our cars, and by using non-porus tarmac on our roads, we are encouraging the rainfall to proceed straight to the sea, or to rise skywards as evaporation . . . could that be what the blue tap is trying to tell us?
And what of the white tap?  Could it be bearing the message that, on account of our activities, only a third of the water needed for a healthy planet is available for use?

I said that David Attenborough was attending the conference, which gives me the perfect excuse to offer you this delightful video.
'Re/Source 2012' may not have been given publicity, but I earnestly hope that future generations will have reason to be grateful for its long-term achievements.  Humankind cannot afford it to fail.

In the meantime . . . please join me in raising a glass to Divine Water!