Years ago Barbara Walters asked Wayne Gretzky how it was that despite not being the fastest, strongest, or biggest player on the ice, he came to be known as “The Great One.” His response said it all. “In hockey,” he said, “everyone goes where the puck is – I go where it’s going to be next.” Were America to follow the ‘Gretzky Doctrine,’ we’d be focusing a lot less on oil and a lot more on an even more critical natural resource: water.
CNN ran a great piece on water as part of its Planet in Peril series that highlighted many of the points that myself, and other experts, have been expressing for years. The only component I felt they missed was stating the relationship between national security and our national water supply. The CNN article offered three keys to overcoming current (and future) water shortages in the United States:
1. Move agricultural production from Western deserts to wet areas in the East;
2. Replace aging infrastructure and improve distribution to growing areas; and
3. Stop neglecting the important role water plays in everyday life.
Question: What do you call a nation without reliable water where showers are a luxury, cooking with clean water isn’t always an option, fighting fires isn’t always possible, where hospitals can’t clean surgical instruments or use HVAC systems, and where jurisdictional fighting over water rights escalates beyond court rooms?
Answer: America in 20-40 years if water isn’t put atop the national priority list.
Man I hope Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi caught that Gretzky interview!