Telling the Story of Water

Posted by Christine, April 26, 2015

David Mas Masumoto grapples with the story of water in the Sacramento Bee:

How do you tell the story of water in our Valley and state?

The drought amplifies the significance of water; we can no longer take it for granted. While I fix a leak in our farm’s irrigation cement line, I think of water in new ways.

First, I cringe at the wasted water that the seeps out of the concrete pipe with a hairline crack – a problem I noticed years ago but now feel compelled to fix. Can this be a metaphor for our approach to water: leaks and waste throughout the system?

Second, I try to grasp my relationship with water; it’s not just for economic benefit, but it also must be seen as a limited resource, something sacred, with value. For me, water is personal with meaning: It’s a story that matters.

How we compose that story will frame our understanding. Water is much more complex than imagined, and the intricacies and ramifications are a challenge to communicate. For many, the narrative is overwhelming when we ask basic questions: Where does our water come from and who owns it?

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