John Messeder


We turn the faucet and water flows, from where most of us do not know and do not normally consider. Mostly, we suspect it comes from wells, in large part because recent laws restrict use of free-flowing water for human consumption.

One of the two most important life ingredients — the other being oxygen — water is in short supply in many parts of the world. Southern California residents are experiencing water shortages at their homes. For more than two centuries, central and Southern Californians, where the climate seemed great for human habitation except for its lack of sufficient water, have been stealing water from lands to their north and east where water was in seemingly endless supply but living conditions were otherwise uninviting.

John Messeder is an award-winning environmental columnist and social anthropologist, and lives in Gettysburg. He may be contacted at

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