Water Blog

December 18, 2006
Water - The Link in Our Life

The greatest reminder of the vital importance of living water was the recent birth of a grand daughter, Anora Han Qiu, and the birth of two grand nieces. I was refreshed by time in New Hampshire with my family as we dove into Squam Lake and walks on the beaches of Los Angeles with old friends. Everywhere people are thinking more and more about water! The greatest hope is the number of young people I am meeting who know what to do, are passionate, and determined, yet patient. They were the voters who said “Enough! Let’s get this right!”. Like water which links all of us, relationships are the link in my life.

Imagine a green Los Angeles. Imagine that a city which has destroyed 94% of its rivers is choosing to bring them back. Imagine parks and greenways that are integral to the water system. It isn’t happening yet, but it could! Last month on November 14th, I led a workshop for sixty five people from community groups and government agencies who are working in Los Angeles on the Ballona Creek watershed. They were a disparate, yet passionate, group and included people who are involved in the coastal wetlands, artists, river watchers and those who want bike trails.

The workshop was designed to assist individuals and groups to take the next step. Many light bulbs went on as I talked about how I came to understand what I call an integrated water systems sustainable plan. What is the foundation which links all of us? It is the watershed. With such a plan, the best biological and bio-engineering solutions for the restoration and preservation of the watershed can be selected and a green plan developed which is integral to the water systems. Then it becomes possible to provide the economic analysis and social benefits of day-lighting creeks, removing the concrete and greening the rivers, utilizing parks as full participants in the systems, and much more. It is time we choose real solutions and not the face lift that adds another layer of difficulties for the next generation.

Questions abounded. Can nature really clean water? Can we take the concrete off and plant the banks so they will not erode? Places that have done this know that there are multiple benefits such as improved water quality, enhanced bio-diversity and increased recreational opportunities. Los Angeles is not an exception although it has become the world model of concrete, pipe and pumps. Although few cities in the U.S. have sufficient water plans, more are now beginning to develop them. In the next few years, we hope that water will become the foundation of the planning process.

This was a pivotal moment, heading them toward a sustainable green solution or adding more superficial solutions to their vast water quality/quantity challenges. Water and urban water systems are big business. Who would run a business without a cost effective approach to planning? Creating an integrated sustainable plan is a strategic map to conserve the region’s water and all the systems within the water supply. This ensures that the eco-system survives by the most sustainable and economic means. Through this process, we discover which combination of solutions is most cost effective and supportable for our regions.

Building our relationships is key in finding solutions. Keepers of the Waters is based in relationships. We are creating a network of people involved in various projects around the globe and assisting others to start their own. It is hopeful and fun and my work continues. In Chengdu, China, as consultant to Chengdu Urban River Association, I will be organizing the clean up of a local watershed. First there will be training with bio-engineer Mark Van Zummeran to analyze the watershed and then a week long training session. Near Mt. Shasta, California I am working with Angelina Cook to organize her community to stop Nestle Corporation from buying the source of the Sacramento River. I will also be studying village water conservation practices in the Tibetan villages of the Sichuan Mountains next summer and continue to create living water systems for a sustainable world. We are all working together.

- Betsy Damon

 


November 14, 2016
Betsy Speaks at the 10th INTECOL Wetlands Conference, Changshu China

February 28, 2016
Betsy at the UN: The Power of Collaboration

January 05, 2016
A Wall: Socially Engaged Art from Greater China

November 25, 2015
Water: Elemental, Mutable, Essential

November 20, 2015
Healing Power of Art

October 08, 2015
Documentation of Betsy Damon's talks in Logan Utah

August 20, 2015
Website for Living Waters of Larimer

July 20, 2015
ArtPlace Grant for Living Waters of Larimer

March 03, 2015
Living Water of Larimer Workshops

February 15, 2015
Balance-Unbalance

January 28, 2015
Press for Living Waters of Larimer

December 16, 2014
2015 Fundraiser - Original Prints from Betsy Damon

November 01, 2014
Betsy at the International Water Conference

August 18, 2014
The Keepers Board Convenes

June 01, 2014
Water, Water Everywhere

February 10, 2012
It's About Water

October 30, 2011
Living Water

September 28, 2011
Newsletter from China

April 28, 2011
Project 12x12

February 18, 2011
The Dream of a River

October 11, 2010
An Amazing Model for Clean Rivers and Sustainability by Lonnie Feather

May 14, 2010
News from Betsy Damon and Keepers of the Waters – May 2010

December 30, 2009
Happy New Year (To Be Alive is to Have Water)

December 06, 2009
Composting toilet as a holiday gift?

August 13, 2009
reSources: Saving Living Systems (A report fromTibet/China)

June 30, 2009
reSources: Saving Living Systems (Hello Dear Friends)

June 02, 2009
"reSources: Saving Living Systems"

September 15, 2008
Update from China, September 15th

September 06, 2008
Great news from Keepers of the Waters and Betsy

August 19, 2008
Betsy Leaving For China

January 12, 2008
News and Projects

November 21, 2007
We Could Have Such a Beautiful World

June 24, 2006
Project Updates

May 23, 2006
Betsy in China

November 03, 2003
Water Exploratoriums in Oregon, Public Art in Beijing

August 30, 2003
Volunteer Opportunities in China

June 30, 2003
New Keepers of the Waters Online Network up!

June 30, 2003
Edwards Aquifer Park Design

June 30, 2003
Water and Art Exploratorium at elementary school

June 30, 2003
News from China