Building the World

The Art of Change



“Pitiless blue sky” image:

“I love a sunburnt country,” wrote poet Dorothea Mackellar, OBE, about Australia where “a pitiless blue sky” parched farms and withered forests in a drought so long and severe that the Murray River, part of the Murray and Murrumbidgee irrigation project of Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric, needed emergency dredging to reach the sea. Australia is the most arid country on earth. When the rains returned, relief brought a new era of conservation. Today, Australians use 55 gallons of water per person per day; Californians, 105. Will the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy persuade Americans that the Clean Water Rule is everyone’s responsibility? Can the United States benefit from Australia’s experience, perhaps in part by commissioning poets and artists to engage both minds, and hearts, in the conservation of precious water?

“My Country,” by Dorothea Mackellar, OBE.

Kristen Gelineau and Ellen Knickmeyer, “California looks to Australia for tips on surviving drought,” May 25, 2015, Associated Press.

Gina McCarthy and Jo-Ellen Darcy, “Reasons We Need the Clean Water Rule.” May 27, 2015. With appreciation to Sheila M. Turney.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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