Water is a singular noun in every language that I know of. There is just one water. There are many containers for water such as the atmosphere, rivers, lakes, aquifers, glaciers, oceans, pipes and toilet bowls but there is just one water occupying all of those containers.
Water is essential for life, yet there is just one water.
For life to persist then water must be shared. However, as any kindergarten teacher will tell you, sharing is not the action of dividing amongst a selected few because that behaviour is denying a share to the unchosen. It is only truly sharing when even those who are culturally, developmentmentally, or visibly different are all afforded a fair share.
It must have come as a shock to elders all over the world, as their lands and waters were appropriated by immigrants of European heritage, when they learned that the primary notion of sharing had been replaced by the modern concept of rights. Under this system, landowners acquired the rights to the available water. Large-scale procurement of rights combined with industrialization of water use enabled the selected few to consume a disproportionate share of the water thus denying access to the unchosen.
Yet water is essential for all life. Thus there are many life forms that are unchosen in the western model of water allocation. Water resources managers all over the world are handcuffed, bound, and gagged by water rights that prevent the reallocation of a fair share of water to provide essential environmental services even if needed to protect entire ecosystems.
The legal framework for water allocation is evolving and adapting to 21st century challenges, albeit slowly. The processes for changing water policy, legislation and regulation of water use takes time, a lot of time. In the meantime solutions are needed to bridge to a, perhaps distant, future in which an innovative legal framework is effective in preventing water overuse, misuse and abuse.
We can’t afford to wait.
We must be better, much better, at reducing, reusing and recycling water. There is just one water, and the notion that water can be discarded after it has been used is hopelessly naive. As water moves from one container (say a river), to another container (say a pipe), to yet another container (say an estuary) we must track it every step of the way. By continuous monitoring of the quantity and quality of water along its journey we can learn how our actions and inactions affect the water. This knowledge can inform our actions to ensure beneficial end-of-pipe usability.
Aquatic Informatics has always embraced the singularity of water.
Our new website is one platform for a diversity of solutions that all connect with our awareness of how special water is. Each solution is merely a waypoint on the continuous journey of water as it enters our lives and then exits to serve different lives.
Having just one platform allows Aquatic Informatics to systematically eliminate unwanted gaps and unnecessary redundancies amongst solutions, therefore ensuring the most efficient and effective monitoring and management of water.