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Rooted in Water

Growing up listening to waves crashing and loons calling, I discovered and nurtured my bond to the Earth. My connection with land has always been intertwined with water. All of my experiences with it have tapped me into the rhythms of our planet.

Water feeds the vegetables and animals that feed us, it nourishes forests and its cycle acts as the pulse of life on Earth. With the fluidity of its form, water provides many of our connections to the land. It trickles down to replenish groundwater, and percolates up mountains to precipitate into valleys.

When we contaminate water, land becomes poisonous, vegetables toxic, rainwater acidic, and the cycle of life becomes the cycle of death. I coordinate a community media project on confronting water scarcity in the Rio Santiago watershed in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Rio Santiago is one of the most polluted rivers in the word, receiving much of Guadalajara's untreated industrial and human effluent.

I am struck by how a river, providing a green band of life along its path to the sea, can become an instrument of death. In Guadalajara, however, I find hope in the connection of the people to the land and their grassroots effort to protect the water running through it, despite the seeming hopelessness of the situation. They celebrate life by organizing to protect it, to become more numerous and powerful than those who destroy. Movements like these to protect our land have deep and strong roots; eventually, we will prevail.


Rebecca Snavely's picture


Never has the term "grassroots" been so perfect a visual for what you describe here: "A green band of life." I send internet applause (it's loud here on my end, I promise) for your hopeful perspective. I'm sure your outlook encourages the movement to stay strong.

Thanks for sharing!



olakitike's picture

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your enriching perspective Sarah, its a new way to look at land and other earth resources.

JaniceW's picture

Water, a dying resource

You might be interested in this beautifully designed website for the Canadian documentary Waterlife, a film about the Great Lakes that follows the flow of the lakes' water from the Nipigon River to the Atlantic Ocean. The film's goal is to take viewers on a tour of an incredibly beautiful ecosystem that is facing complex challenges, just as the Rio Santiago is.

Nusrat Ara's picture

A new perspective about land

A new perspective about land and a very good one too. We really need to conserve water.We have done enough damage already.


Sarah Kelly's picture

Thank you all

Thanks so much for the encouragement and new ideas.

Co-Director of Adapting to Scarcity

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