The first text I ever studied in class as an English undergrad was Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‘. Our über cool professor (immediately commanding our rapt attention with her multi-coloured mohawk) taught us the poem for weeks, going through each line, encouraging us to excavate our own meanings and decipher symbols and metaphors behind each turn of phrase.

It was the most exciting introduction to college-level literary studies that I could have asked for. Eight years later, I can still hear her voice echoing through the buttercup yellow classroom: 

“Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink.”

This morning, my Instagram feed had a post about rising sea levels, followed by another about drought around the world. These lines from Coleridge’s poem came rushing back to me. 

Though our mighty battles mightily over borders, power, money, religion, caste, and gender, the earth’s water resources are depleting to critical levels: Arctic glaciers are melting four times faster than the rest of the planet. Rising sea levels are causing record-breaking coastal flooding, and the frequency of droughts has increased by a third since 2000. We passed the point of no return in 2014.

The Living Waters Museum “curates visual narratives on our water heritage to inspire water caring futures”. They tell stories of indigenous irrigation ritualschanging trajectories of historic rivers, and the evolution of natural water systems

Go with the flow. Find your water culture.


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