‘And During the Wet Years They Lost All Memory of the Dry Years’: Time For a New Water Ethic
We’ve acted as though there was no drought until it was too late and we failed to take steps to reduce our water use by serious efforts to improve efficiency and cut waste.
from: Pacific Institute / By Peter Gleick
In 1952 John Steinbeck wrote East of Eden, a monumental book about the lives of a community, families, and individuals living in the Salinas Valley of California from the late 1800s through the Great War. The scope of the book is vast, taking on the themes of love and hate, good and evil, the sweep of human emotions, frailties, and strengths, all in the context of a California that no longer exists. And while the book isn’t about water, themes of water flow through it as a metaphor for the cycles of life, drought and flood, and in images of California alternatively parched and quenched. I’ve just had the enormous pleasure of reading it, and near the very beginning, amidst the grand truths woven through the book is the following prose, as true today as a century ago:
- “And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”
Read the article here.