[232] Hope after Corona – Water, Divide and Unite

We talked about the air, and the forests as fundamental conditions to make our planet liveable. Yet, there is a third crucial one which we take too often for granted, water.

Blue Gold

Water is life, not only consist our planet 70% water, our body does contain 60%. Water makes the world go around, makes our body move and our soul thrive. Water is the blue gold, wars are fought for water.

Taking water away, takes life away.

We learned to wash our hands during Covid-19: running water and soap. We took it for granted. However, 1 in 3 people have no access to safe drinking water. When Covid-19 started, various volunteers all over the world started distributing water, in buckets on the back of a motorcycle, in tanks, in bottles. Access to potable water is one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, but we’re not there yet.

Life and Dead

Water means life to the planet and to us. We use it to drink, to grow crops and raise animals, to wash and clean, flush bacteria and viruses away, and even to create pleasure and joy. To get peaceful while meditating, or to get active while swimming. Even to create electricity, although this isn’t always sustainable.

Unfortunately, human interventions have turned life into a source of dead as well.

Contamination and pollution have made various water sources undrinkable. Climate change has not only forced the sea levels to rise and inundate coastal areas and islands, but it has resulted in increased extreme weather events as well, from prolonged periods of drought to intensified hurricanes, storms, and precipitation.

Droughts dry up life, while intensified storms inundate life. Flooding is even worsened by our disrespect for water-flows, by damming and cutting them off, by covering the soil that could absorb the water with concrete, by taking away natural buffers such as mangroves and forests that could keep the soil together.

This doesn’t only prevent nutrients from washing off, and leaving the soil infertile, but as well from washing pesticides and fertilisers into the rivers and oceans. Moreover, when soil is loosened because of deforestation and water flows in large quantities over it, it takes the soil with it. The resulting mud flows take all life with them. There is nothing that can stop a mud flow from going, nothing will be left on its path.

Geopolitical Conflicts

The term blue gold doesn’t only refer to the value water has to life directly; it refers a well to the greed of humans.

Greed for possession, resources, and power. Various countries depend on the same waterflow, such as the Mekong river that springs in the Himalaya and meanders out of there through China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and eventually Vietnam to meet the ocean. All these countries depend on the Mekong river for potable water, for fish, for watering their crops and animals, for drinking and cooking, for cleaning and washing, for entertainment and electricity.

The Mekong is their shared source of life, and their shared responsibility.

But they suffer. All of them want their share, but some take more than others, endangering not only the life of the Mekong, but each other’s lives as well.

Waterflows serve a lot of time as border, which sometimes brings safety and security, other times it is precisely a source of conflict, such as the river flowing between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

There is conflict about water all over the world, the conflict around the Lake Aral for instance, or what about the Death Sea in Israel which is drying up, because its water sources are cut off. The list could be long, but I hold it here for now.

Uniting Force

As water can be a source of life and death, a source to divide and unite, we must admit how crucial water is to all of us. Crucial to our basic needs, and our secondary needs. Crucial but fragile, since not all of us have access to water, let alone to drinkable water. Fragile but precious, since some companies and countries have found a way to use it as a means of power, not only to empower their selves, but to make others powerless as well.

We don’t need more struggles for power in a world where even the superpowers are fighting to reposition their selves and were enough conflict is going on. We don’t need more struggles for water in a world where water is already a scarcity, which will explode under climate change.

The universal need for water can be a chance to unite us.

Act local, think global – the three C’s

Consider your own water consumption, and know with every litre potable water you flush through the toilet, there is a litre less for someone to drink. With every litre of water, you use to wash your car, there is a litre less for someone else. Every litre of water spilled when water is there, will be the litre of water you’ll long for in periods of drought.

Care for the water flows by allowing the water to flow naturally. Don’t allow rivers or waterflows to be dammed or cut off as such that they our disbalanced, and they don’t have a place to flow to, so flooding their surroundings is their only way out. Care for the water by not pollution and contaminating it, no country, no company, no individual. Care for the water by restoring its natural defenders, forests and mangroves.

Practice Critical awareness of the impact of climate change on water, in terms of droughts and flooding, not only mitigate climate change, but adapt as well. Practice critical awareness of the power that flows with water, be aware of the ones downstream and upstream, and especially about our shared responsibility and vulnerability.

Water means life and death; we are the ones making the choice. Life connects us all, it divides us and unites us. Water is our shared responsibility and vulnerability. We are all accountable.


This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read

  1. How this too shall pass
  2. how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
  3. how you can contribute to this battle, 
  4. how gratitude lights up the dark,  
  5. how united we will stand strong
  6. on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis 
  7. how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands, 
  8. how being calm can get us through the storm.
  9. about Love in Times of Corona
  10. how to discover your own talents 
  11. why we need stories to hold on to 
  12. how you can be creative and innovative.
  13. how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
  14. how to listen to the sound of silence. 
  15. How breath taking Corona really is.
  16. discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us, 
  17. about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
  18. about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
  19. about the position of nature in this entire story
  20. about nature bouncing back
  21. about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
  22. about the game to play
  23. about star gazing in dark times
  24. About looking for Meaning
  25. About how Music Connects
  26. about what Easter and Corona have in Common
  27. About the Shark and the Turtle
  28. About the Irony of Distance
  29. Why to Hold on
  30. Fake News
  31. about The Big Unknown we live at
  32. about Feeling Alive
  33. About turning obstacles into opportunities
  34. about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life 
  35. About where we should go from here?
  36. About coping with incertitude
  37. About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
  38. about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
  39. How one country could rule them all
  40. About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic 
  41. about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
  42. about when the poppy flowers
  43. about what’s in a number
  44. masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
  45. What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
  46. how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
  47. why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
  48. How Spring can happen in Autumn
  49. How to unlock the lockdown
  50. Why education matters
  51. How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
  52. The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
  53. the remarkable rewards of health
  54. The queeste for global health care 
  55. Health Heroes
  56. Pains and Gains 
  57. Solidarity 3.0
  58. Work-Life Balance
  59. Home sweet home
  60. Real Connections
  61. Leadership 3.0
  62. gratitude 3.0
  63. Respect 3.0
  64. Humanity 3.0
  65. Change Management
  66. Economic Catharsis
  67. To consume or not to consume?
  68. Travel the world, travel your heart
  69. Barrels of Life
  70. People, no Number Management
  71. Back to the Office?
  72. Those jobs …
  73. Economic Growth or Green Growth
  74. Global trade, global fate
  75. Act local, think global
  76. A changed climate for Climate Change
  77. Love is in the Air
  78. From Fatamorgana to Oasis
  79. From Covid-19 to Forest Fire
  80. 5 Shades of Fossil Fuels

Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark time.

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