Water, water, everywhere,

Nor any drop to drink

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

For the first time I’m starting a blog post without knowing where it’s going.

When you read this I’ll be on a warm (I hope) Mediterranean island surrounded by water (salt) water, nor any drop to drink – at least from the sea.

I rashly promised several weeks ago to contribute to Blog Action Day 2010 whose theme this year is water.  You can read about it here.  As I write this 2,924 people in 120 countries have promised to blog about H2O today.  What are they going to write?  Profound worthy things?  Outraged concern at their fellow human beings deprived of the stuff?  Of the wars driven by it?  Of flooding and catastrophe?

Let’s just celebrate it briefly.  The cool, clean, clear life giving liquid it can be.

The beauty of it cascading down a waterfall.  The rainbow in the sky marking the supposed pot of gold.

How people have used and tamed it.

The dams that irrigate and provide sustainable power.

Our Victorian ancestors’ foresight in bringing clean water to our great cities like Glasgow, heroes like the engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette building the sewers to take the dirty water away safely from London.  Eliminating cholera at almost a stroke.  Transforming the lives of ordinary people.   Amazing examples of municipal vision and enterprise.

A vision still to be delivered in so many parts of the world.

So get serious about this.  Sign the petition for an international water treaty to provide clean water everywhere.  Donate online to help.

And, perhaps more prosaically than the poet, let’s transform Coleridge’s couplet

Water, water, everywhere,

And all we need  to drink.