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


An Open Letter to President Biden on Water

Jim Lauria

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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

Jim Lauria

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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

Jim Lauria

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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

Jim Lauria

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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.

Water Into Wine

Jim Lauria

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As a young engineer on a farm in California's Central Valley grappling with the challenge of injecting fertilizer into irrigation water, Angelo Mazzei didn't consider how his career would ultimately turn his knowledge of water into a deep involvement in wine. But since he crafted first high-efficiency venturi injectors in the 1970s in his garage to help improve water, fate and business have pulled Angelo Mazzei toward wine from every direction.

You Shouldn't Splash That S**t Around

Jim Lauria

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The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought a wide range of health issues into sharp focus, including the spread of pathogens through aerosols, tiny droplets of liquid that can hang in the air for minutes or even hours.

When Chinese scientists announced in February that RNA from the novel coronavirus was present in feces — findings later corroborated by research conducted in the U.S. — and could be transmitted through a fecal-oral route, scientists recognized a new and terrifying mode of contagion. Similarly, the novel coronavirus has been detected in wastewater in The Netherlands, and American scientists are observing the virus' RNA in tests of raw sewage across the country.

When It Comes to Water, It's 50/50 That Hindsight Is 20/20

Jim Lauria

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Back in October 2018, when I started looking to the past to gather wisdom from what people have said about water through the ages, I figured when it comes to water, it’s 50/50 that hindsight is 20/20. So I needed a large sample size. I started collecting quotes from all sorts of people—scientists and screenwriters, poets and philosophers and politicians and pop singers—hoping to provide insight into water and the issues around it. (For more details on my journey, see last year’s World Water Day post.) Some of those quotes can even help us peek into the future.


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Dive In!

So much has been said or written or sung about water. We've grouped them by Books, Quotes, and Songs. Check them out!

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