Blue Water, Green Water cartoon

Back to post / website. View/add comments for this article.Blue Water, Green Water cartoon by Stuart McMillen, January 2010. When most people think of water resources it is rivers, lakes and aquifers that first come to mind. But there is another important piece to the puzzle. "Green water" describes water that is contained within the structures of the soil, plants and ecological systems. Think about it. Consider the large volume of water cycling through the plants of your street... ...let alone the trees of a forest! Working in a massive system, trees release the soil's stored moisture as part of the hydrological cycle... ...a cycle that is affected by forest clearing and land use. This is a complex issue, with some types of vegetation increasing blue water flows, and others decreasing this availability. There is twice as much water in the 'green cycle' than in the 'blue cycle', so the magnitude of the resource is enormous... is the risk of mismanaging the cycle. Politicians and engineers love to discuss solutions to water management involving expensive pipelines and equipment. But the sustainable solution may require a more holistic approach. It is time to start discussing 'green water' and the value we place on soils, ecosystems and catchments.

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Stuart McMillen cartoon anteater.