December 30, 2009
Happy New Year (To Be Alive is to Have Water)
To be alive is to have water. How many ways can we say that water is life? Our hearts pump the water/blood through our bodies and one does not exist without the other. Yet we continue to act as if this were not the bottom line.
My search for 25 years has been to connect or reconnect humans to water, to ignite a powerful passion. If people are informed and educated, then they can act to protect or restore their waters. The journey has over and over again led me to headwaters of rivers, springs, and seeps -- places held sacred for centuries. Last summer I visited a cave where water poured forth, pulsing with a rhythm like a heart beat emanating from the earth. I met the people who live from these waters -- one village who forbid the cutting of trees because they knew the waters would disappear if the forest were cut or the monastery where the replanting of a forest brought back their waters.
Yet, few of the people understood that plastic would not bio-degrade, that chemical fertilizers are harmful to water supplies, and that their waters could disappear with the damming and mining of their lands. Global warming is not even mentioned although the glaciers are shrinking fast. They are not prepared for this challenge to their lives. There is no wastewater treatment or rainwater harvesting, education is limited or non-existent, and women in particular have little access to education.
Meanwhile the newspapers in the US report on the deterioration of the drinking water supplies and insufficient pollution controls on chemicals. I cried knowing the large number of people loosing their connection to water as their primary source of aliveness. I am confident of humans’ ability to come together to protect the very foundation of their lives. It is time to understand that human health and life itself is not negotiable.
Keepers of the Waters is a unique organization. It is inspired by my grass-roots vision of empowering people. It is a free service and our website is invaluable to the 2,300 people who access it each month. And, even though I don’t take a salary, we still need $15,000 each year to run our office and maintain the administrative details of a non-profit organization. We need your help and support to keep this service alive and healthy.
We also fundraise for important projects throughout the year. Currently, Tangjun from the Yak Team, who we partnered with after the earthquake in China, is working deeper in the devastated areas of Sichuan and has asked if we can provide funds for additional clean water sites. This project will potentially reach 20,000 people.
Another project I am working on and actively looking for funding is ‘reSources: Saving Living Systems’. In Tibet, a 1,500-year-old culture exists that has ecologically sustained rural water sources (springs, mineral waters, lakes, and headwaters of rivers). This culture remains today, though it, and the water sources -- which are necessary for drinking, washing, religious ritual, and to alleviate the symptoms of disease -- are increasingly threatened by escalating development and are little known to the outside world.
I believe that it is an iconic world model. By looking at cultures that still have a traditional practice that sustains their water sources, we can find innovative approaches to the urgent contemporary global issues of watershed conservation and rural economic development. We are working diligently with the Tibetans to communicate and bring education to their communities about the plight of water sources. You can find more information about this project at our website under ‘Our Projects’ and, to make your 2009 tax-deductible contribution today, please go to ‘Support Us’.
With deepest thanks, Betsy Damon
Betsy Presented at University of North Carolina
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
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
September 28, 2011
Newsletter from China
April 28, 2011
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 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
December 18, 2006
Water - The Link in Our Life
June 24, 2006
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