LOOK. I hope this image frightens you. Approaching the 8th anniversary of the Kingston Coal Ash spill – the billion gallon environmental catastrophe – how we doing in our awareness, response and prevention efforts?
I’d say, not so good.
Truth be told, these large-scale events catch everyone’s attention for possibly two news cycles, then the masses change channels to MNF or DWTS. Love how EVERYTHING these days is a god damn acronym? My new fave: the #DTs. To some, delerium tremens comes to mind. To me, our president elect, freakishly appropriate!
But, I digress. Back to water ignorance.
Thanks to the many organizations like Waterkeeper Alliance, who are consistently raising awareness and money, and of equal importance, generating site clicks on social networks. Bad water news floats by daily. Here are some highlights, and don’t skip the 11-second effort to click on these links, or the 3+ minutes to learn something:
Listen to me, please. It no longer matters whether these events are “not in my backyard.” Allow me to connect the dots. Firstly, water flows and always finds its place, carrying with it whatever is put in. Secondly, as long as your utility is burning coal to turn the lights on, then you are involved. Thirdly, how’s that succulent Gulf shrimp tasting? And lastly, how do we continue to accept that 700+ million people don’t have what we have (limitless hydration access) and 2.4 billion people defecate outdoors?
Prevention of future water bombs is a good goal. But the inevitable truth, just ask Corpus Christi, TX, is that someday soon, you or I will be standing on a long line at the big box store with a cart full of bottled water.
If you know anyone who works at a water treatment plant, give them a hug or a handshake for their service. Then tell them about this great article on the 11 Steps to prepare for chemical spills.
Water awareness and safety used to be deep in the background. Turn on the tap, flush the bowl, keep it movin’. Today, tomorrow, and the next day, this mode of thinking is no longer acceptable. So start paying attention. “Water is boring” is so yesterday.
Photo credit: SkyTruth, “Kingston Coal-Ash Spill, December 23, 2008 Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority https://www.flickr.com/photos/skytruth/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/