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There is something special about the right quote presented at the right time. When an idea is put into words so succinctly, and so evocatively, it can help us view things from a whole different perspective. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most inspiring quotes about water pollution – quotes that will help us galvanize our efforts as we move towards more sustainable industrial practices.

Mahatma Gandhi

“The earth, the air, the land, and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The father of modern India, and the master of non-violent protest, demonstrates to us our responsibility to the generations that will come after. We owe it to our children, and our children’s children, to preserve the world we inhabit, including its water systems.

Thomas Fuller

“We never know the worth of water until the well is dry.” – Thomas Fuller

The 17th-century British author may have been speaking in metaphors here, and passing comment on a sentiment made famous hundreds of years later by Joni Mitchell – you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone – but his statement also works on a literal level. Water seems so widely abundant that we feel it could never be depleted. And yet it can be, and will be, if we do not take a responsible approach to water, including wastewater, and move towards sustainable industrial practices.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Few people have had a more intimate relationship with water than Jacques Yves Cousteau. The French diving pioneer was very much in tune with the waters he was exploring, and with the eco-systems he was a guest in. Here, he tells us in no uncertain terms that water equals life, and that, without water, this life simply cannot exist.

Erin Brokovich

“If we move forward and don’t clean up the messes of the past, they’ll just get swept under the rug.” – Erin Brokovich

Californian activist and legal advocate, Erin Brokovich, rose to public attention in 1993 when she built a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company that had been polluting the local water supply and ruining the health of the local populace. This quote from Brokovich underlines our responsibility to the planet, our water supply, and our society, and tells us that the time to take sustainable action is now, not later.

Abraham Lincoln

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the man in the White House at one of the key turning points in our nation’s history – the Civil War. Perhaps today it could be argued that we find ourselves at a similar turning point in the history of the world, as we preside over a climate crisis the likes of which have never been seen before. Like Erin Brokovich would, over a century later, the 16th President of the United States urges us to take responsibility now while it still counts and can still make a difference.

R. Buckminster Fuller

“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

Massachusetts-born engineer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller was one of the most dazzling minds of his generation. His quote here on pollution provides us with a new way of looking at things, and perhaps a positive solution. If we can figure out a way to harness the pollutants that currently fall by the wayside, we can not only clean up our waterways, but we can also produce energy more responsibly using materials that are currently wasted.

REFERENCES (with additional research)