Water is the most unappreciated resource. I often see really hardworking people in companies that take the entire load of work because they are reliable and always deliver. Gradually, the boss transfers all the work load to these people because it is the easy way out rather than trying to get the less responsible ones to do a good job. The feeling is that once you give a job to them, then you can forget about it because it will get done well and there will be no need for any followup. Over a period of time, their work is assumed to be easy because there is no noise, friction or drama. Subsequently, these people become the few invisible workers that keep the company afloat but never receive the praise or due rewards.
You are wondering where I am going with this, right? Well, water is similar to these indispensable people that we take for granted. Water is the lifeblood of Earth. Water evaporates from the leaves and the lakes and rains from above cooling the Earth and nourishing the land. Percolates down the Earth assimilating nutrients for the plants. We realize the value of water when we are thirsty and when our plants are parched.
Money has become the default measure of success. The prime motivation for most people is to make more money. In this blind pursuit of money, initially we were successful in making lives better. Now, we are at a stage where the pursuit of money is turning us blind to the damage we are doing to our environment and most importantly to our water sources.
I remember in my childhood, we drank water from the tap. Water pipelines were being laid and people felt that the tap water was the best source of water. Now we have come to a stage where companies are buying up rights to pristine lakes and selling us water that costs more than gasoline. A generation of people have been brainwashed to believe that bottled water has special qualities and that tap water is not cool or fashionable any more. As a result, the sales of bottled water has soared and is progressively making it difficult for municipalities to find water distribution cost effective.
The quest for more money (profits) has pushed manufacturing to third world countries where Environment Protection is not as strong. As a result, it is easy to criticize less developed countries for pollution while we are voting with our money for cheap products that skirt environment protection to save costs.
The battle of the next century is going to be for control of water. Water will no longer remain a human right but would be sold to the highest bidder. Same could probably happen to air if we continue our unfettered damage of the environment through our consumption of fossil fuels. Given our financial terms of engagement and determinants of success, this would be positioned as more jobs for more people manufacturing oxygen tanks, greater taxes to the government and more profits to business. May be, I am just in a cranky mood and the future will not be such doom and gloom. I hope so.