When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 24 March 2013

When it comes to collectively and rationally managing our freshwater, many Lankans seem to suspend their good judgement. Any passing conspiracy theory, no matter how far-fetched or implausible, is uncritically accepted and readily passed around.

Why do some people get so ‘drunk’ on water? Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinions (and fantasies). But not to their own facts. When myths and paranoia shape activist agendas and influence (or inhibit) public policies, things go wrong.

As we marked another World Water Day this week (March 22), I wondered how we can seek greater clarity in these muddied waters.

Sri Lanka isn’t yet classified as a country with water scarcity by global definitions – at least when cumulative national values are taken. But there are local disparities in how freshwater is distributed.


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