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Water, Water, Everywhere

Our guest blogger today is Jessica Larson. Jessica is co-owner and operator of Indianapolis Soft Water and Bottle Free Indy (

My two sons have a special connection with water. They love doing what little boys do: toss sticks and rocks into the creek and squeal with delight at the splash. Spot turtles, frogs, and other critters. Let their imaginations run wild.

They’re sea captains and big-game fishermen. They’re explorers. They’re adventurers.

They learn so much about the world around them in just one muggy, summer afternoon. Every year, I watch them grow, become a little bolder, skip stones just a little further than ever before.

Water. Yes, we need it for basic survival, but it means so much more to us.  It shapes the way we speak (when was the last time you were “in over your head” or “all at sea”?), the way we play, and where we build our cities and homes.

Water affects our lives on so many levels. The ancient Egyptians knew just what I’m talking about. The flooding of the Nile brought life to the Egyptians by making their land fertile. Because of this, they worshipped the river.  Do we still hold water in such a high regard today?

Worldwide, approximately one in eight people lacks access to safe water. Nearly four million people die each year from water-related illnesses, including one child every twenty seconds. Women worldwide spend 200 million hours a day collecting water. But corporate control of drinking water, the growth of the bottled water industry, pollution, and water shortages from droughts are all part of a growing global water crisis.

March 22 is World Water Day, a global day to remind us that we all share the same water. From the White River to rainwater harvested in Africa, all water is part of the water cycle. Around the world, events are held to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, on both global and local levels.

Bringing awareness to our local water system is just what artist Mary Miss is doing. Miss’s project, FLOW: Can You See the River?, reveals key aspects of our White River water system through a series of installations (marked by oversized, shiny red map pins) along the river and the canal.

Mary Miss, "FLOW: Can you See the River?" 2011.

FLOW shows us how the ordinary activities of citizens like you and me affect the health and future of the White River water system.

Projects like FLOW and World Water Day remind us that water is a resource. It’s finite. It has to be cherished. I’m committed to living a sustainable lifestyle, doing what I can to make sure our rivers, lakes, and streams are clean for future generations.

We all have a special connection with water. I want my boys, now and when they’re grown, to be able to keep theirs.

What’s your reason for protecting Indiana’s water? The world’s water? Visit to find out what you can do to raise awareness and help preserve one of our most precious resources.


Filed under: Art and Nature Park, Contemporary, Guest Bloggers, Local

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