"Intensely Local"


I had the good fortune of attending a meeting of industry leaders in the energy and water sectors today. While I'll leave out the details in deference to the organizers, the opening remarks focused on the differences between water and energy. One observation struck me - the energy sector is built up with large institutions, generally large utilities and regional transmission organizations, and large (in terms of jurisdiction) regulatory bodies to manage the system. The water space, however, is made up of many, many small organizations, with thousands of local elected officials and hundreds (or thousands) of wholesalers, authorities, utilities, and districts. The water sector, therefore, was described as being "intensely local."

It's not surprising that my own interest in water began in an intensely local place. I grew up in the metropolitan Cleveland area, and spent a lot of time as a kid in the MetroParks, the "Emerald Necklace" designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. My favorite place was the Chagrin River - my Dad took us fishing there, my Mom taught music in the school system in the local town, and as a family we went sledding there. Chagrin Falls - pictured above - was a favorite spot for the whole family. (Interestingly, Bill Watterson, of "Calvin and Hobbes" fame, lived in Chagrin Falls, and Calvin's landscapes were reflective of that community.)