EU opinion & policy debates - across languages |

Water Represents the Culture of a Human Being

Floods, drought, torrential rains, climate change, hunger, poverty, prosperity, health, security are all phenomenon’s intimately linked with water. Welcome to our new blog on We are excited about engaging in debate about substantial issues that we feel requires a deeper understanding than is present at the EU level; the main issue of concern is water and its central role on this planet. The following passages are introductory and offer a few words about what water means, with the hope that they will provoke us to act more responsibly towards water so that we can live in a more prosperous and vital environment with a lower risk of torrential rains, flooding, droughts and other weather extremes.


Water is the basis of life, which extends from the oceans through numerous rivers to the far reaches of the earth. The ‘blue’ energy of water combined with the ‘yellow’ energy of the sun generates unique and unrepeatable forms of live in the ‘green’ natural environment.

Water culture means an adequate supply of water in the soil, plants and atmosphere. A culture of water also involves using water basins in such a manner which allows for all ecosystems to balance out between the two extremes of severe rain storms and draughts.

Life throughout various regions is dependent upon an adequate supply of water in the soil. Conserving water in the soil entails having an adequate supply of water for people, agriculture and the natural environment. By preventing rain water from saturating the earth, we are drying out our watersheds and permanently decreasing our supply of water for people, agriculture and the natural environment, while simultaneously increasing the risk of poverty, flooding, climate change and other tensions.

Prosperous regional development should develop along paths that preserve the saturation of the earth by rainfall. As we industrialize and urbanize our countries, we must employ strategies which will supplement the natural saturations systems which hydrate the soil through rainfall.

Healthy rivers are fed by the surplus water from the soil within the water basin. The overloaded soil replenishes groundwater supplies which feed natural springs, streams and whole rivers through a reoccurring water regime both during times of rain and dryness. On account of human manipulation of the environment, the drier earth fails to replenish groundwater supplies, consequently drying out streams and rivers during times of drought and causing flooding during times of severe rain storms.

Our rivers need to be carriers and providers of life instead of threatening life. We must stabilize the water regime in our streams and rivers in order to reduce both droughts and flooding so that we can have more biodiversity and weather stability.

Our civilization has its “concrete Culture” – we are alternating the natural flow of water through canalization, we are draining away rainwater from the surfaces that we inhabit, we are dehydrating our farmlands which we grow our food on purportedly for the economic prosperity of humankind. The ways of our concrete culture results in drastic changes to the water cycle. Human kind requires fundamental changes in behavior towards water for their own well-being. We must remove the obstacles in the relationship between people and water. We need to raise a culture of water so that we have the chance to return water to its worthy place within people’s lives so that water helps us instead of hurts us.

Water is the blue lifeline and therefore has phenomenal functions on planet earth. The properties of water combined with the properties of the sun are intrinsic to the unique and diverse forms of life on planet earth. We see water underground, in lakes and rivers. We do not see water on the surface but we see a wet surface. We do not see water in trees but we see a tree. We do not see water in animals but we see animals. Water surrounds a person which he breathes but does not see. As the earth dries, water supplies underground decline, rivers dry up, precipitation declines, plant life slowly withers, and animals and people begin to lose their identity, culture and maturity.

Today’s greatest mistake is the illusion that water is a renewable natural resource. Further industrialization of our countries limits the ability of the water cycle to saturate the earth which reduces the amount of water in the water cycle. This is most likely the reason not only for drought and flooding but also to the changes in spatial and temporal precipitation patterns. In essence, man is industrializing the earth’s surface which not only causes the drying out of the soil but the water cycle as well.

The drying out of the earth and the decline of the availability of water in the water cycle increases the intensity of heat from the sun and is leading to radical changes to the climate on the blue planet. A water culture entails having more water on land and in the water cycle. More water on land results in more water in the atmosphere which reduces the intensity of heat, light and UV rays and thus alleviating the risks associated with climate change.

If humanity will continue to ignore the state of its watersheds, we will experience uncontrollable changes to the ecosystems of the blue planet within the first half of the 21st century which will manifest themselves through torrential rains, flooding, droughts, forest fires, and other weather extremes. All that is required of us is to commence a culture of water. Now is the time.

A culture of water entails the use of and development of land surfaces that retain most of the rainfall within a region and prevent excess runoff so that countries can “produce” an adequate supply of water for its people, agriculture and the natural environment. This would lead a country on a path to replenishing and cleaning its water resources in order to alleviate the risk of associated hazards of climate change while simultaneously stabilizing climate and strengthening biodiversity which will contribute to the prosperity of a region.

All communities are dependent on the state of their watersheds. Therefore communities should naturally have the responsibility for water on their lands. Relinquishing responsibility back to the community calls for a new era of dialogue between communities by strengthening solidarity, tolerance and the common integrity of watersheds. This principle should act as the basis for integrated management of water resources for sustainable development.

Water concerns everyone. The economic, social and environmental uses of water must be backed by responsible local communities. Therefore we must strengthen multi sector dialogues concerning water resources, so that communities would decide on the management of water resources in their region. Thus it is necessary to formulate institutional mechanisms that focus on integrated management of water resources based on the autonomous nature of water.


A culture of water should be in everyone’s interest since flooding, droughts and other hazards associated with recent weather patterns do not respect national boundaries. A culture of water entails creating conditions ripe for the natural rehydration of industrialized regions. Originally, fragmented and communal agricultural lands were replaced by large scale agriculture and industry. These changes slowly resulted in the drying out of the earth because rainwater is no longer retained in its area of origin and quickly runs off from the land into the rivers, resulting in flooding during times of intense rain. The drying out of agricultural areas leads to changes in the spatial and temporal patterns of precipitation. A culture of water in agricultural areas entails retaining rainwater in the earth, wet lands and lakes, with the aim of preventing the dehydration of the area and alleviating the risk of flooding and drought.

The concentration of people in cities results in a greater surface area being covered by concrete and asphalt and the inherent sluicing of rainwater through complex drainage systems. Every year, cities lose millions of tons of water which is necessary for their prosperity and further threatens neighbouring communities. Within the last 100 years, over a billion tons of water have been lost to this urbanization process in Central Europe. A culture of water entails developing and employing mechanisms that retain rainwater within the urban areas so that rainwater has the chance of saturating the soil, cooling the urban climate and could return back to a regions water cycle. Furthermore, this process would reverse the uneven precipitation patterns and alleviate climate change by revitalizing a damaged water cycle.  A culture of water is the key to regional prosperity in Europe; a Europe without torrential rains, flooding and drought.

The hydration of all the surface area of a country will slow the process of water run-off from its domicile and will reverse the process of the earth’s gradual dehydration. It will further replenish underground water supplies, prevent future flooding, renew biodiversity, develop local economies and potentially create numerous job opportunities in various regions across Europe and the world.

The above is a rather long introductory piece on water and its importance in our lives yet given the current state of our water, it seems that such an account was long overdue. Therefore, we should broaden the environmental debate and move away from the narrow view that the production of CO2 gases from industry and current habits of life is the main culprit of climate change. A more comprehensive understanding of the environment would place water at the centre since it is the source of life. Judging by the debate preoccupying the media and wider public, it seems that we have mainly two camps to choose from, you either belong to the climate change ‘believers’ or the climate change ‘sceptics’. While each group continues to preach their explanations of climate change and simultaneously holding the EU community hostage to their logic, our soil, plants, forests, wells, springs, rivers and lakes are drying out as a result of excess runoff of rainwater caused by human activity. The manipulation of the earth’s surface without taking into consideration the importance of rainwater and its central role in maintaining regional climate stability and an overall balanced and healthy environment is sending Europe and the rest of the world down a destructive path. Policy should seek to protect water in all its forms not only its liquid state found in our lakes, rivers and underground.


Author :
EurActiv Network