Trying to articulate water issues, provide discussion fodder, seek other ideas, broaden and educate a bit, and, and... well, solve the world's water problems.
Friday, April 1, 2011
I want to talk a bit about Water Policy. Now everyone’s got an opinion of what it is – at least to them and their interests – so I’m asking that you put your notions aside for now and consider what I think it isn’t, or shouldn’t be.
If you shuffle the letters around a bit the first thing you discover is “water policy” can be a “lawyer topic”. As you develop yours, make sure the attorneys help the local parties define and implement effective water policy rather than craft it for you solely in ways that can be easily defended legally. They work for you, you know.
Shuffle the letters again and “water policy” becomes just a “wiry ole pact” – developed in smoke-filled, back rooms no doubt. And maybe with no one but lawyers present. Such is not conducive to good water policy which needs wide, effective and informed public airing.
One more letter shuffle reveals the words often heard by most of the participants following new water policy implementation: “Lo, wet piracy”. How often is new water policy just a re-distribution of the already short supply – with a lot of losers and a few winners? The “wiry ole pact” approach will almost assure this response.
The last shuffle gives us the real essence of too many water policy developments today: “Try, wail, cope”. In the end, water is so important to every one and everything that simple solutions are rarely workable. But, does the complexity inherent in any good water policy mean that we are destined to try new stuff, wail about it at great length, and eventually resign ourselves to coping with the results? I hope not.
It is a shame there are no good, positive anagrams for “water policy”. I’ll have to think about what that might mean…