by Miss Winona Kayla Boettcher
Blessed as we are to live in Southern Minnesota it’s hard to imagine that water is something we should be concerned about. We’re surrounded by the Mississippi and, sometimes in the spring, engulfed by it. Water isn’t something we would ever consider to be in short supply here in Winona or in the Mississippi River Valley for that matter.
It’s hard for us, who are so in tune with water, to imagine places with water shortages, like the desert of California. And that’s what California is, a desert (no matter the lush lawns we see on TV and in movies). There are laws stating how much or how little water can be used. They are nearly always under a drought warning and often live in fear of the fires that can cause so much devastation.
So why should we, here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, care about water? Why does water really matter when we live in such abundance? I could take the time to list out all the reasons why I think water is important, but that’s not going to make you care about it as I do. Caring for something comes with developing a connection with it. Connections are created through interactions and creating deeper understandings. Now sure, you could sit back open your computer or a book and learn all you need to know, but that’s no fun. Passive individual learning won’t spark the interest that’s needed to create change or connection.
If you’d like to learn more, to foster a connection and change your perspective on the water that surrounds you every day as a resident of the Mississippi River Valley, I encourage you to come to an event that I am hosting called Winona Water Wise Day. It will be held on March 22, 2020, from 1-3 p.m. in the Gostomski Field House located on the Saint Mary’s campus.
Not only is this an opportunity to learn about water and to discuss its importance with other members of the community, but it’s also a celebration for World Water Day! World Water day is a United Nations observance day that focuses on fresh water. The goal is to bring awareness of the issues facing freshwater and work together to find solutions. Although we cannot go out and clean all freshwater in the world, by changing the way we see it, we can change the way we use it. This is one small way to begin to create waves of change and all it takes is a single connection to change your entire perspective.