On the recent 2016-2017 Gandhi Legacy Tour of India , led by Arun and Tushar Gandhi, we visited Tarun Bharat Sangh Campus to meet Dr. Rajendra Singh and take field tours of a few water bodies Dr. Singh has “resurrected.” After two amazing days with Dr. Singh and his community, he informed our group about the upcoming Phase 3 of Walking Water in southern California slated for October 14-28, 2017. “More than a Water Walk, it is a movement!”, Singh has exclaimed.
“WALKING WATER is an invitation, an action, an educational journey and a prayer intended to bring together the voices of the many Peoples of the Eastern Sierra and Los Angeles watersheds through the act of walking together, following the waterways — natural and manmade — between Mono Lake and Los Angeles. This video weaves together the stories of how Walking Water came to be and the vision behind the upcoming pilgrimage.” “Walking Water is about water, people and place – restoring those relations using the most basic of forms – Pilgrimage.”
From Kate, Gigi and Alan
Core Team Walking Water
Walking Water is a “fervent prayer and pioneering social action” that began 2015 September in eastern California, continued in 2016, and will conclude this year. The “water” the participants are calling attention to is now mostly a memory, for the rivers and creeks of this Eastern Sierra valley were conscripted in the early twentieth century to supply drinking, bathing, and golf-course-greening water for the growing population of Los Angeles. The “walking” part of the name is a pilgrimage that traces the path of those waters.
“Walking Water is not a demonstration, it is not a march against something, instead it is a celebration of the possibilities we have when we come together. Walking Water aims to share stories about water among walkers and those they meet, unite diverse communities around a common concern, and begin exploring ways in which citizens can take a more active role in what happens to their land, water, and air.”
In 2015, we walked water from Mono Lake, near Yosemite National Park, to Owens Lake (180 miles in 22 days)
In 2016, in September and October we trekked water from Owens Lake to the Cascades aqueduct in Sylmar, CA.
This year in October, Walking Water will complete the journey, from The Sylmar Cascades to Los Angeles.
To emphasize the inclusiveness of the pilgrimage, organizers have reached out to ranchers, farmers, Native Americans, park administrators, and others, not only asking permission to walk through and camp on their land, but extending invitations for them to join the pilgrimage. Participants may join the walk for an hour or for the duration.
We are walking the path from source to end-user and we enter Los Angeles with stories gathered over the last 2 years – stories of community and tribal resilience as well as severe drought and land appropriation. As we enter a new political time in the USA we are asked to step up in our awareness and action, in our work , our prayer and our dedication with water, the lands and all its peoples. We look forward to walking with you all this year.
We thank you all for your support in any form. May this year be one of solidarity, strengthening of communities and the love and care for water.