We came across this fabulous letter by Wallace J. Nichols, a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and author of the book Blue Mind. We think that it is powerful and well worth sharing…

An open letter to the world…

It’s a familiar refrain that water covers three quarters of the planet and provides food, jobs, energy and oxygen. Indeed, it’s a fat that water is the source, matrix and sustenance of life.

But just as music and art, water also makes life worth living.

“That’s where I first discovered my love for music, through the motion of water. My imagination ran wild.” – Pharrell Williams, Musician

“There is something about being in water and swimming which alters the writer’s mood, gets his thoughts going, as nothing else can.” – Oliver Sacks, Neurologist

When we overlook, omit or undervalue water’s cognitive, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual benefits in our conversations, lectures, policies, reports, assessments and mission statements we are not only leaving out many of society’s major behavioural drivers, but also being dangerously incomplete. This regretful omission leads to further degradation of our waterways and oceans.

We ask you, the world’s thought leaders and problem solvers, in your future writing, research and public speaking, to recognise water’s value beyond jobs, food, energy and oxygen to include creativity, awe, empathy, inspiration, peace, romance, play, solace, transcendence and happiness.

Many communities have lost access to healthy waterways through processes that have historically boosted the economy but undermined the quality of life and well-being. In many of those places, water is now being brought back to life along with the vitality of the cities and towns it runs through. This trend will continue to spread around the world if we describe the true value of water in clear terms supported by an expanded scientific understanding of the benefits of water.

Let’s grow the Blue Movement in this golden age of brain research to include neuroscientists, psychologists, therapists, life coaches and mental health experts who are applying the ancient idea that water is medicine in new and effective ways.

It’s time to recognise that our rivers, lakes, wetlands and oceans are good for our brains and bodies. It’s time to recognise that the future of water is not only economic and ecological – it’s emotional.


Wallace J. Nichols, PhD

The original letter can be found here True Value of Healthy Oceans & Waterways. Feature image from wallacejnichols.org. More information about the Blue Movement and the book Blue Mind, can be found here.