Jim has written numerous articles published here and in popular social media and magazine websites, focusing on three topics. Enjoy!


Water Quotes from Scientists

Jim Lauria

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The last post in my “Water Quotes from…” series was Water Quotes from Funny People. So this time I’d like to post water quotes from people who do serious work, scientists. The definition of a scientist is a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences. That sounds like serious business to me.

Most of my followers know my deep appreciation for Leonardo da Vinci, especially for his views on water. For me he is the world’s foremost scientist, a genius well before his time. Here is a link to my favorite water quotes from him…

Water Quotes from Funny People

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Water is a serious matter, but when I was traveling around the world, meeting with people, and benchmarking the best global water management practices, I found that humor, like water, is the universal solvent.

So, on this World Water Day, I’m taking the advice of comedian Steve Bhaerman and overcoming gravity with levity by posting my favorite water quotes from funny people…

Water Quotes from Women

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As many of my followers know, I have been writing about the connection between women and water for a long time. Here is an excerpt from a post I wrote a number of years ago, A Valentine to Women Who Keep the Water Flowing…

… the female connection to water goes far beyond the symbolism found in literature and legend, well past the traditional symbolic links between women and the tides. In the developing countries of the world, right now, there are millions of women hauling water for their families from distant wells, rivers and lakes. According to the United Nations Population Fund, they’re walking an average of 6 km – 3.7 miles – per day to collect water. (Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon. Think about carrying a bucket of it for miles.) In conflict zones around the world, from Darfur to Latin America, they are risking their very lives as they walk those dangerous miles for water – and they’re carrying life itself back to their families...

So, for today, International Women’s Day, here are my favorite water quotes from women:

Water Quotes from U.S. Presidents

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I recently wrote an open letter to President Joe Biden requesting a commitment to make the funding of U.S. water infrastructure a priority in his Build Back Better program. I sent a similar open letter to president-elect Donald Trump back in 2016.

On this president’s day, in recognition of the important role water plays on our country’s health, food, energy, transportation and security, here are my favorite water quotes from U.S. presidents:

An Open Letter to President Biden on Water

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Dear President Biden:

Congratulations on your election, and on starting your term with a strong commitment to infrastructure, which you outlined during the campaign in your Build Back Better platform.

We in the water industry are certainly eager to build back better. You are our republic's 46th president, following in the footsteps of several presidential leaders in infrastructure development and many others who neglected the foundation that has made our country great. Whether it was the 19th century boom in private water systems that began under President Jefferson, the U.S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards established under President Wilson, or the massive dam projects under President Roosevelt, we are still enjoying the benefits of attention to our water infrastructure.

A Tale of Two Movies: Brave Blue World and Dark Waters

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It was the best of water, it was the worst of water, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the year of COVID and Brave Blue World and the year of Dark Waters. Two films on water bridged the gulf between Charles Dickens' spring of hope and darkness of despair, showing audiences two sides of the ongoing evolution of the water industry.

Water Quotes from Movies and Films

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My favorite book of 2020 was about one of my favorite movies of all time, water or otherwise, Chinatown. In his book The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, author Sam Wasson gives the perspectives of screenwriter Robert Towne, producer Robert Evans, director Roman Polanski and lead actor Jack Nicholson in the making of the 1974 film. The movie was inspired by the California Water Wars, a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century, by which Los Angeles interests secured water rights in the Owens Valley.

My favorite line from the movie starts the list of water quotes from movies and films…

  1. “Can you believe it? We're in the middle of a drought, and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A.” - Morty (Charles Knapp), Chinatown, 1974

In chronological order, here are my favorites from other movies and films…

Water Quotes from Chinese Teachings

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Recent LinkedIn posts have highlighted the tensions building up between India and China over Chinese control of the water supply flowing out of Tibet. Will Sarni posted the South China Morning Post headline “India and China gear up for a new battle, this time over water”, and Stuart Shapiro provided a link to a Byline Times article “War Over Water: The New Flashpoint in the India-China Stand-Off”.

In my 2016 post Water and the Art of War: Is China Gaining a Stranglehold on the World Water Supply?, I reported that since the 1962 war between India and China—arguably a war over water—10,000 square kilometers of Tibetan ice are under Indian control and three times more are under Chinese control.


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