In the short term, our current institutions will work with residents to try to ameliorate the crisis, but what about the long term? How can we work to ensure these 400,000 are not left without potable water again? There will be a lot of dialogue and debate over how to move forward and protect the public good. All too often, however, we look for simple, top-down direction to alleviate and mitigate environmental concerns.
This is understandable. The simple solution and the “decide, announce, defend” mentality is an easy way out. The problem is, no matter how simple an ecological concept, the natural system behind it is incredibly complex. Simple solutions cannot mitigate complex systems – but evolving, dynamic systems can continually shift policy to meet public and environmental health demands. This is why there is a need for greater community involvement, free association and a stakeholder approach that allows equal participation among all.
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