The FLOW, fall 2016
This is the cover article from our fall 2016 FLOW Newsletter. Download a PDF of the full Newsletter.
A Word on Our Future
By Raj Shukla
I paddled down the Kickapoo recently. It was my third time in a kayak. A few months ago my family shuttled across Lake Wingra. A dozen years ago I took a cold and wet ride on the Kinnickinnic.
The feeling was the same north of La Farge as it was in Madison and Milwaukee. A sense of peace. A sense of place. And each experience offered a reminder of what is at stake.
Through August of this year, we’ve witnessed 16 consecutive months of record high global temperatures. The fall has seen major floods throughout Wisconsin – exactly what scientists suggest we can expect a lot more of due to climate change. In the meantime, summer algae blooms dominated lakes and rivers, E. Coli continues to threaten drinking water in northeast, industry continues to strain local aquifers in the Central Sands, and families are at risk across the state because of lead pipes that carry drinking water.
The pressures surrounding fresh water are big, indeed. The world is getting hotter, more and more people have more needs, and cities struggle to find answers to unique water management and quality concerns.
Even with all the complexities of the issues River Alliance of Wisconsin has worked on for 23 years, our purpose remains clear: clean fresh water for all.
In the months and years ahead, we – you, thousands of other passionate supporters, and our talented team – will show Wisconsin how vital our waters are to our way of life. We will train local leaders how to protect local resources. We will give officials and administrators the tools they need to create resilient cities. And we will engage communities with events in every part of the state.
In other words we’ll be doing many of the same things we’ve been doing for more than two decades. But there is a twist.
We’ll demand more from those entrusted with managing our fresh water resources. We will make new allies and build new partnerships that expand our reach and influence. And we will do all of it with a clear-eyed understanding that this moment requires an urgency unlike any other before.
The pages that follow tell stories on how citizens are choosing to engage on Wisconsin’s water issues, and how River Alliance is helping them. We encourage you to do so as well. Join our campaigns (like It’s Your Water, Wisconsin! or Project RED), make friends with unlikely partners to make a big impact (like Rick and John), or blaze your own trail in the name of water (like Jesse).
The time to be bold is right now, friends. Join us!