Water – a resource for flourishing communities

By Priscilla Gordon-Duff |

Tea was the first item on the weekend’s agenda. Where would we be without tea to revive us? We took our tea outside to admire the view across the water and find out more about each other: the poet, the musician, the strategist and me.

As always the weekend at Ardtornish then took on a life of its own: I learned about Marine Renewables, I envisaged how it would be to have to carry water for my every need, and to know that on average my need is for 150 litres and day. I was transported through poetry to Northumbria and the strong sense of place that working with the sea has engendered. It was sobering the next day to learn how lucky we are in UK where our water supplies mostly keep up with demand....and about Yemen where they do not.

Mapping was a strong feature of the weekend...whether that of the ‘marks’ that the fishermen relied on for navigation and that are handed down through stories.  Or the ones that demonstrate the correlation between water stress and political turmoil as in Yemen. Or the lines of modern designations that cut across the old lines...and maybe cut through them. I loved the history of Edinburgh’s water supplies, the struggles to keep up with demand and the conflict that followed.  ‘Whatever was provided was never enough’.

I saw amazing photographs of the creatures under the sea, unseen as I travelled over the water, and understood that there is much that is rare and precious that I never see. There is more to water than meets the eye. Unintended consequences are everywhere.

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