I grew up in an area of the Western U.S. that received less than 10 inches of rain annually, officially a desert by climatological classification. Yet the easy access of water from state irrigation projects allowed it to flourish as the breadbasket (more accurately "fruitbowl") of the nation. The profligate use of imported water allowed its residents, agriculturalists or not, to use water in ways of which I have been made increasingly sensitive. I stopped letting the faucet run in order to simply wet my toothbrush long ago. Any time spent in naturally dry climes should sensitize anyone of at least moderate intelligence that fresh water is a precious resource, unevenly distributed in a world ever more populated by a very problematic species. Here in the West, the maxim has always been, "Whiskey's for drinkin', water is for fightin' over". Ralph's comment, sincere or not, represents a massive failure of our teachers and leaders – political, religious, whatever – to communicate the importance of a finite resource, critical to the survival of everyone anywhere on the the planet we all share.
Originally Posted by spijker