Let Water Rain

My personal connection to water wasn’t obvious to me at first. Despite living close to the ocean, I’m not a beach person. I appreciate the ocean and acknowledge its beauty, but that was the extent of my relationship with the Pacific. I was never much of a swimmer either; in fact, I dreaded swimming lessons as a child. I was almost beginning to think that I had no special connection to water, when it suddenly hit me: the rain. I love the rain. Sure it’s a hassle when I’m trying to get to class while lugging around my backpack, but even then I find it to be somewhat enjoyable. Although science has been able to explain how water can fall from the sky, the experience of rain still has a magical, mysterious quality to it, and I think that’s what I love about it. The rain is also nostalgic for me. It brings back fond memories like watching water droplets race across the car window, running outside with friends in the rain or sitting on my aunt’s porch just listening to and watching a rainstorm. I even reminisce about staying inside and taking advantage of the cold weather by getting cozy under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.

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Rain has many benefits, some less obvious than others, such as the nostalgia it brings me. Another benefit is drinking rainwater. First of all, it’s free water that falls from the sky, making it inexpensive. Second, it’s a more sustainable way of collecting water, as it bypasses the industrialized process that feeds the public water supply. Of course, one shouldn’t necessarily drink rainwater as is, since it can contain pollutants. When sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides pollute rain, it becomes acid rain, which is harmful to ingest. Although it tastes, feels, and looks like clean rain, it can deposit particles in the body and result in heart and lung disorders. Thus, it is important to filter rainwater if it is to be used for drinking. One option is to use a sand filter, which cleans the water using percolation and gravity. You can also buy filters online, if ultrafiltration appeals to you more.

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While the Clean Air Act has aimed to reduce these pollutants, acid rain continues to be a problem. Fortunately, the EPA is not the only one that can make a difference. Several artists have responded to this issue, as shown by the Major International Exhibition of Environmental and Climate Change-related Art held in Denmark. The exhibit was focused on the issues of global climate change, including its effects on rain. These pieces are beautiful and thought provoking. Even if they don’t explain what acid rain is, they bring attention to the issue, which is just as important.

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I can’t imagine a world without rain. Despite its simplicity, it sustains the complexity of life. For me, and many others, it brings joy. Rain is good for us, and while I acknowledge that not everyone shares the same sentiment for rain as I do, I hope that we can all at least recognize its importance in our lives.

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References:

Argyriades, Marcia. Rethink: Can Art Change the Climate?. Yatzer, 13 Dec. 2009. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.yatzer.com/2049_rethink__can_art_change_the_climate>.

Effects of Acid Rain- Human Health. EPA, 4 Dec. 2012. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/health.html>.

How to Filter Rainwater for Drinking. Rain Brothers, n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.rainbrothers.com/how_to_filter_rainwater_for_drinking.html>.

Project: Harvest Rainwater with Sand Filters. Chelsea Green Publishing, 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/project-harvest-rainwater-with-sand-filters/>.

Rahman, S, M T. Khan, S Akib, N B. Din, and S K. Biswas. "Sustainability of rainwater harvesting system in terms of water quality." The Scientific World Journal (2014): 1-10. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3948194/pdf/TSWJ2014-721357.pdf>.

Rainfall. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.sampletekk.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=167>.

Wood, Drew. Acid Rain. 2006. Mary-Rose and Thomas E. Jeffry, Jr., Esq. Collection. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.drewwoodart.com/light-space-depth/acid-rain-2006-color-shifti.html>.