Love Letters to Water and Those Who Fight For It, Part One

Our Blue Roots Project team is still recovering from jetlag after a whirlwind experience at the Vatican for World Water Day 2017. But just as we were hard at work at the Watershed conference, you all were also working hard, submitting stories and raising awareness of the value of water in honor of World Water Day. We received so many wonderful submissions we couldn’t possibly highlight them all in just one blog post. So this Best of blog post will be released in two parts.

The week’s submissions were marked by World Water Day, on Wednesday during the submission period. It was clear the day reignited passion people have for water, drawing out beautiful memories and inspiring art, writings and posts that tell a story about their love and respect for water and those fighting to protect it.

We received so many stories, but we thought the best ones this week communicated that passion, love and respect for water that we hope is contagious, as we draw from those feelings to move toward greater awareness and, eventually, action in addressing the world’s water crises. These feelings echoed our own, as we sat feet from Pope Francis as he urged the world to protect the “treasure” that is water, and witnessed the coming together of many influential voices in the water space during the Watershed conference.

So without further adieu, here are our favorite love letters to water and those fighting for it, from the week of World Water Day.

Desire for a better future for water
Shannon Anderson tells of her beginnings in New York where she could play in her backyard creeks, to the polluted waters in Indiana where she now calls home.

Today is #worldwaterday – I grew up in the creeks near my home in WNY and finger lakes of central NY during summer camp. This is Lake Cayuga. This is me. When I moved away, I was shocked to hear stories about kids who couldn't play in their creeks and lakes and rivers due to pollution. Kids who grew up along the Ohio River here in my state of Indiana knew they couldn't swim in it. This isn't okay. This is not just about childhood play, it's about the harm we do to ecosystems and water that everything living depends on. We can't un-contaminate our waterways and ground water. We must treat it as the precious resource it is. I want my kid and all kids to enjoy a world of safe water and it is heartbreaking that it's too late now for too many. #flintwatercrisis is heartbreaking #dapl is heartbreaking #coalash is heartbreaking. Please join the movement to defend our waterways and accept no excuses from industry and politicians why we can't all have creeks and lakes that any kid can't go in. That's my #MyWaterStory

A post shared by Shannon Anderson (@kitonlove) on

Celebrating the role of water in everyday life
Kelsie Wrae urges her Instagram and Facebook followers to remember the impact of clean water every time they turn on their faucets.

Happy World Water Day! Today, we focus our attention on the importance of freshwater, and thank those who advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. You might ask, “Why is it so important to take a day to recognize water?” To better understand this question, it’s crucial to understand the vital role water plays in our everyday life. Celebrating World Water Day is about taking the time to appreciate the role water plays in our day-to-day life. It is estimated that in the United States, the average person uses between 100 and 250 liters of clean and safe water every day. That’s more than 10 times as much water being used daily in underdeveloped countries. Take a moment today to think about how much water you use every day, and recognize how fortunate we are to have it at our disposal. Next time you turn on your faucet, remember how access to clean and safe water positively affects our lives, our economies, and our societies. #MyWaterStory #WorldWaterDay2017 #worldwaterday

A post shared by K E L S I E | wrae arnold (@kelsiewrae) on

A love poem to my backyard creek

Madison Vorva sent us the love poem she wrote for her backyard creek ten years ago, with a photo.

Passion passed down to younger generations

Lin Rongxiang of Singapore wrote to us about the influence of two Singaporean leaders, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Madam Kwa Geok Choo. Lin writes that as lawyers the husband and wife duo “believed in subscribing to the international laws and governing dynamics of our planet, and this includes the United Nations.” She goes on to say that their leadership impacted generations to come:

Ordinary citizens like me were taught since a very tender age that water is an existential issue for Singapore.

You can also read her letter in full here.

Expressing love of water with paint

Oregon artist Abigail Losli marked World Water Day with her own day of painting water and posted a short reflection on Instagram. We also loved this statement about her work on her website:

Our lives are marked by the ebb and flow of choices and consequences, moments and seasons. Examining patterns of movement in water enables me to explore themes of change and rest, while working in series elevates the way parts comprise a whole. I see a parallel in the way small moments compose a meaningful life.

Water is both spiritual and practical, life-giving and necessary, powerful and gentle, unnerving and soothing. It connects us all.

Stay tuned for Part Two, which we’ll publish tomorrow.