It has come to my attention that water within the Comox Valley area is not only the most valuable resource, as it is now in most communities on this planet, but it is also the center of a very timely debate. I have been told that all three municipalities, Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland, hold very specific and often divergent views, as to how water should be conserved, used and distributed between their respective citizens. Again, as a new resident myself, I look forward to your input in the comments section of this column to confirm or refute the above statement. Since we are in the middle of a municipal elections campaign, I feel that this important topic should be viewed from many perspectives. Let me explain.

During the more than two decades I spent in a rural Ontario community, I spoke at the Walkerton Inquiry about my personal perspective on how our will and thoughts can inadvertently facilitate the prolonged contamination of water, which led to the tragic events experienced by a small town in that same province. I attempted to explain that it was not only one individual or group, but the entire collective, which must reassess it’s understanding of and relationship with water, since our lives literally depend on it. Failing to do so has consequences for both the economic and personal well-being of all residents in a community.

This July, I had the great privilege of experiencing the important role water plays here, when I spent part of an afternoon on a dragon boat with a dozen women at the Comox Marina. The beauty of water, as one of the main tourism elements which attract thousands of people daily to the many nautical and fishing activities here, is self-evident.  On the same day I joined the crew of Blazing Paddles, I also spent a couple of hours that evening at the Lion’s Den, also in Comox, with Dr. Masaru Emoto’s assistant, Michiko Hayshi, who is traveling the world with a presentation based, in part, on his book, Messages in Water. I may be simplifying his findings by stating that the focus of his research was to demonstrate, with photographic evidence of changing frozen water crystals, that this primary element not only conducts energy, but it is also transformed by it.

Why is this of interest to any community discussing the future of this natural resource? The way people interact, in other words communicate near a body of water, will have a direct impact on its quality. Before you think this sounds extremely unlikely, the truth is water is exactly who you are. Almost 70 per cent of our body, depending on our age, is composed of water. As votes are cast next month to elect members of the next municipal councils for Cumberland, Courtenay and Comox, it will hopefully be after a thoughtful reflection about which individual candidates will offer the Comox Valley the best opportunity for a collaborative approach to sharing this most defining element for any community.

Catherine Hedrich

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