Making Sense of the Most Essential Yet Undervalued Natural Resource
Last September, the mountain hut Quintino Sella, perched at 2,640 meters in the Italian Alps, closed down. It was the third time in 65 years. Twice before it occurred because of early snowfalls in late summer; this year it was due to drought and the resulting cost of hauling water up high. This location suffered from the inherent characteristic of water: it has no substitute. If not available for 3 days, people die. If lacking during irrigation season, food gets
lost. If not potable, people get sick. Although our planet appears as a “Blue Marble” from outer space and water covers 71% of its surface, only 0.01% of fresh water is actually accessible and renewable. It is precious and essential.