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Water that marks the change

Of missed and possible regenerations

Josephine Condemi
a story by
Josephine Condemi
Water that marks the change

Dear readers,

we are more than 50 per cent water. Where it comes from, i.e. how it formed on our planet, is still the subject of various theories. But, for sure, without the bond between the two atoms of hydrogen and oxygen, living organisms on Earth, including us, would not have developed: without water, we cannot live. But of the water that covers more than 70 per cent of our planet’s surface, only 2.5 per cent is salty, of which 2 per cent is frozen in glaciers: rivers, lakes, and aquifers compete for zero percentages, while the global population has reached eight billion people.

Where is fresh water today? Where does it come from? Where will it be tomorrow? For this month’s Mangrovia, we started with these questions to understand how art, culture and technology can help us find sustainable freshwater management systems.

It is an urgent question: climate change has already accelerated the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as droughts and floods, to which most of the damage from natural disasters is linked. According to The United Nations World Water Development Report 2024, one in two people experience severe water scarcity for at least one year, one in four experience high water stress and, in 2022, 2.2 billion people did not have access to safe drinking water.

Our human activities have changed the water cycle, i.e. the cycle of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and infiltration that allows it to renew itself. But it is not too late to (re)learn how to collect rainwater, treat wastewater, avoid waste by monitoring infrastructure efficiency and consumption, and pay attention to signs that indicate changes in ecosystems.

From the Internet of Water to water energy, from the good practices of those who live near waterways to lakes that change colour, from underground aquifers to the geopolitical implications of rivers that unite different states: also in this month we will share stories that tell other ways of inhabiting the world.

For thousands of years, different cultures have associated water with the possibility of change and regeneration. Faced with one of the greatest challenges that humanity has had to face since its appearance on Earth, perhaps the time has come to combine symbolism and materiality, and get busy finding better ways of managing and distributing fresh water. In other words, to give ourselves a chance to survive


Where culture branches out and evolves

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