Without Water, There’s Nothing!

A stone discovered in ancient rock layers exposed by tectonic shifts
delicately picked out of its strata and examined,
was found to contain a bit of water billions of years old:
young water of our home, planet Earth.

Young water, which itself took eons to become a source of all life:
around, within, below, above,
A sacred gift.
There is ONLY ONE supply of Water for the EARTH’S ENTIRE LIFE.

Of Earth’s Water, 97% is oceanic salt water,
leaving, yes, only 3% of fresh water for all land based life.
Our own bodies are made of 50-65% of water,
blood, spinal fluid, eyes & more, even bones.

Earth’s water continually cycles, thus recycled water abides in us.
Most fresh land water had been in the ground,
rather than in air or surface rivers, lakes, snow, glaciers, Polar ice.
Traditional peoples keenly observed life to survive.
As their survival skills grew they realized
lives depended on sustaining what they used in nature.
Discovering their own lives inextricably linked to those of all other life,
including life of water,
awed by what they observed in mysteries of night’s dark skies lit by
moon, stars & comets, with sun’s vital warmth and light by day,
they honored a creator beyond the Earth.
Daily community lives involved ritual practices of gratitude.

Knowing they belonged to the land,
young & old honed skills of sustainability
as they found how all life is inter-related to be fruitful;
& reflected that in traditional daily life,
languages, stories, sacred spaces, art, dance and song.

Conquests of land and people erased sustainable ways of life
through dominion over, rather than inter-relationship with nature.
Pressures of subjugation for power/profit/pleasure
objectified natural resources.
Science was at times controlled by rulers of lands or church.
While science thrived, sustainability was only at times prioritized.
Working for the common good of even people fell away.
Gradually seduced by the 3 Ps, & commodification,
human hubris overwhelmed Water & Air on which all animate life depends.

Air & Water, how terrifying you’ve become!
Poisoned with human pollution,
altered by thoughtless extraction & careless overuse,
your ravaged life cycles plummet over precipices
to escalating heat waves creating permanent deluge, drought & raging fires.
Each year is hotter for longer now.
Each year extreme weather expands.
Each year more animals & habitat become extinct, unable to adapt.
Each year more natural & ‘civilized’ resources are destroyed by you,
as your frantic climate strained life cycles are disarrayed.
Air & Water, many humans deny your desperate extreme effects,
continuing to cling
to life riddled with power, profit, pleasure.
They blind their minds while polluting wastes proliferate.
They numb themselves to effects of their casual use of natural resources.
Earth’s essential elements rapidly spiral to extinction.
We with that.

Mother Earth, there still are humans
who hear your desperate pleas of floods, fierce winds,
extreme swings of heat & cold.
Right here, right now,
many traditional and modern New Mexican scientists with skill & will
have joined together to help communities across
our Land of Enchantment
weave differing regions of our land and cultures
into comprehensive systems of water planning & management.
Led by carefully conceived visions of these sustainability experts,
we have hope of using current water data
to help us adapt to climate degradation in our deserts, valleys, mountains, plains.

Laws were passed to create Regional Water Utility Authorities
to adjust to decreasing precipitation & rapidly depleting groundwater.
These comprehensive community actions must be well funded now
to be established before time for adaption runs out.
Clovis energetically & systematically has made these complex changes.
Its success is urgently needed in Portales

in 3rd stage (of 5) water loss requiring stringently restricted uses.
250 other rural NM communities may need these soon.
We can slow progress of NM’s permanent drought by
conserving and catching water, helping Water reclaim her cycling life.

Every NM citizen can join in this work by:
– looking at the NM Water Advocates website,
– knowing that quick fixes fail to secure sustainability,
– conserving water & catching precipitation,
– contacting your legislators and telling them how urgent
it is to fund community regional water utility work now, and
– share information about all this with everyone you meet.

Betsy Diaz is a board member for the Water Advocates and Interfaith Power & Light/Sacred Land & Water. She has been in New Mexico for over 45 years and considers herself a seasoned water advocate.


  1. Betsy Diaz Ph.D on February 1, 2024 at 9:32 am

    Actually, I am an active member not a board member of NM Water Advocates & Interfaith Power & Light.

  2. April T. on February 2, 2024 at 6:01 am

    Wonderful poem

Leave a Comment