Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4                                                                                                Site hosted by: Casey Designs


(newly added quotes first)    ::    River Quotes    ::    Poems/Verses (all)    ::    Movies and Wells (all - sorted by date)

Quotes on Water   (trying my best but no guarantees here)

"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet."
- Bob Marley -

"This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley (Speaking of Lake Como, Italy) -

"Still waters run deep. Shallow waters run dry frequently."
- Thomas County Cat, June 5, 1890, Pg 3 -

"When you see clouds gathering, prepare to catch rainwater."
- Gola People of Liberia -

"Water is the mother of the vine, the nurse and fountain of fecundity, the adorner and refresher of the world."
- Charles Mackay -

"When snow falls, nature listens."
- Antoinette van Kleeff -

“Any party which takes credit for the rain must not be surprised if its opponents blame it for the drought.”
- Dwight Morrow -

“When one man drinks while another can only watch, Doomsday follows.”
- Turkish Proverb -

"All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”
- Toni Morrison -

"One could argue that a fractured, ad hoc, haphazard mish-mash of random, inconsistent, and stove-piped projects, administered by a hodge-podge of 36 congressional committees and more than 20 agencies in accordance with outdated and inadequate laws constitutes a national water policy. A de facto one. But with so many ignored aha moments followed by ever-more-frequent and disastrous uh-oh moments, it seems we could use a policy that's not quite so dependent upon sandbags and firehoses."
- Elizabeth de la Vega -

"The health of our waters is the principle measure of how we live on the land."
- Luna Leopold -

"Water, that wonderful, flowing medium, the luck of the planet — which would serve humankind in so many ways, and which would give our planet a special character.”
- Daniel Boorstin, The Discoverers -

"It is water, in every form and at every scale, that saturates the mind. All the water that will ever be is, right now."
- National Geographic, October 1993 -

"Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby."
- Langston Hughes -

"Of this we may be sure: Man must eat to live, and the problem of food will always be inextricably associated with water."
– Thompson King, Water, Miracle of Nature -

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery -

"..I am inclined to believe that if there can be a meaningful human right to any material thing, surely it starts with access to minimum clean freshwater. ”
- Steven Solomon - Water – The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization

"Water, whether still or in motion, has so great an attraction for the lover of nature, that the most beautiful landscape seems scarcely complete without it. There are no effects so fascinating as those produced by the reflexions in nature’s living mirror, with their delicacy of form, ever fleeting and changing, and their subtle combinations of colour.”
- Montagu Pollock - Light and Water: A Study of Reflexion and Colour in River, Lake and Sea, 1903 -

"Rain! Whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains."
- Henry Ward Beecher, preacher and writer (1813-1887) -

"Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure."
- St. Francis of Assisi in Canticles of the Sun -

"He that has satisfied his thirst turns his back on the well.”
- Baltasar Gracian -

"..the mighty main [sea] is the begetter of clouds and winds and rivers."
- Anaximenes of Miletus (585-525 BC) -

"Deep flowing Oceanus, from which flow all rivers and every sea and all springs and deep wells."
- Illiad -

"Water is personal, water is local, water is regional, water is statewide. Everybody has a different idea, a different approach, a different issue, a different concern. Water is the most personal issue we have.."
- Susan Marks; OnLine interview, October 7, 2009 -

"Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain there would be no life."
- John Updike -

"The only books that separate ground water and surface water are our law books."
- Duane Smith, Executive Director, Oklahoma Water Resources Board -

"Water and its availability and quality will be the main pressures on, and issues for, societies and the environment under climate change."
- IPCC, 2007 -

"Groundwater has been used for domestic and irrigation needs from time immemorial. Yet its nature and occurrence have always possessed a certain mystery because water below the land surface is invisible and relatively inaccessible. The influence of this mystery lingers in some tenets that govern groundwater law."
- T.N. Narasimhan -

"Gutta cavat lapidem." (Dripping water carves a stone.)"
- Ovid -

"In the Western United States, water flows uphill to money."
- Glen Sanders -

"A generous person will be enriched and one who gives water will get water."
- From Proverbs; 11:25 -

"We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one."
- Jacques Cousteau -

"The solution to our water problems is more rain."
- Attributed to Mark Twain (as Leslie says "Aren't they all?") -

"Water is the lifeblood of our bodies, our economy, our nation and our well-being."
- Stephen Johnson, EPA Administrator, upon dedicating the new desalination plant at El Paso, TX, 2007 -

"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder
measures the depth of his own nature."

- Henry David Thoreau -

"To understand water is to understand the cosmos, the marvels of nature, and life itself."
- Masaru Emoto in "The Hidden Messages in Water" -

"Everyone understands that water is essential to life. But many are only just now beginning to grasp how essential it is to everything in life – food, energy, transportation, nature, leisure, identity, culture, social norms, and virtually all the products used on a daily basis."
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) -

"All the waters run to the sea and yet the sea is not full, and from the place where they began, thither they return again."
- Ecclesiastes -

"Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious.  Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, From Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939 -

"If you gave me several million years, there would be nothing that did not grow in beauty if it were surrounded by water."
- Jan Erik Vold, 1970 -

"In their efforts to provide a sufficiency of water where there was not one, men have resorted to every expedient from prayer to dynamite. The story of their efforts is, on the whole, one of pathos and tragedy, of a few successes and many failures"
- Walter Prescott Webb (The Great Plains) -

"It is hereby recognized that a need exists for the creation of special districts for the proper management of the groundwater resources of the state; for the conservation of groundwater resources; for the prevention of economic deterioration; for associated endeavors within the state of Kansas through the stabilization of agriculture; and to secure for Kansas the benefit of its fertile soils and favorable location with respect to national and world markets. It is the policy of this act to preserve basic water use doctrine and to establish the right of local water users to determine their destiny with respect to the use of the groundwater insofar as it does not conflict with the basic laws and policies of the state of Kansas. It is, therefore, declared that in the public interest it is necessary and advisable to permit the establishment of groundwater management districts."
- Legislative declaration of the Kansas Groundwater Management District Act, K.S.A. 82a-1020 -

"Water is the only substance on earth that is naturally present in three different forms - as a liquid, a solid (ice) and as a gas (water vapor)."
- Author unknown -

"Battles over water in the West are always about something more. At their most elemental, they are about survival."
- Bettina Boxall, 2007 -

"There is too little public recognition of how much we all depend upon farmers as stewards of our soil, water and wildlife resources."
- John F. Kennedy -

"You could write the story of man's growth in terms of his epic concerns with water."
- Bernard Frank -

"Man is a complex being; he makes deserts bloom and lakes die."
- Gil Stern -

"And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters"
- Henry Wordsworth, "Resolution and Independence" -

"And gentle winds and waters near, make music to the lonely ear."
- Byron,"Parisina" -

"We think of our land and water and human resources not as static and sterile possessions but as life giving assets to be directed by wise provisions for future days."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

"There has been a lot said about the sacredness of our land which is our body; and the values of our culture which is our soul; but water is the blood of our tribes, and if its life-giving flow is stopped, or it is polluted, all else will die and the many thousands of years of our communal existence will come to an end."
- Frank Tenorio, 1978 -

"Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes - one for peace and one for science."
- John F. Kennedy -

"A man from the west will fight over three things: water, women and gold, and usually in that order."
- Senator Barry Goldwater, AZ -

"Water is King, and he is Knight who uses it successfully to make two blades grow where nature produced none."
- J. S. Sherman, 1894. Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Convention of the Kansas Irrigation Association -

"Til taught by pain, men really know not what good water is worth."
- From "Don Juan" by Byron -

"Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
- Unknown author -

"I have left almost to the last the magic of water, an element which owing to its changefulness of form and mood and colour and to the vast range of its effects is ever the principal source of landscape beauty, and has like music a mysterious influence over the mind."
- Sir George Sitwell (On the Making of Gardens) -

"I have little need to remind you that water has become one of our major national concerns."
Ezra Taft Benson, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
- (Opening sentence of the Foreword of the 1955 Yearbook of Agriculture - dedicated entirely to water) -

"Water is life's matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water."
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine -

"In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference."
- Rachel Carson -

"Don't you realize that the sea is the home of water? All water is off on a journey unless it's in the sea, and it's homesick, and bound to make its way home someday."
- Zora Neale Hurston (1903-1960), American folklorist and writer -

"Civilization has been a permanent dialogue between human beings and water."
- Paolo Lugari (founder of the Gaviotas Community in Colombia) -

"If we lived in a desert and our lives depended on a water supply that came out of a steel tube, we would inevitably watch that tube and talk about it understandingly. No citizen would need to be lectured about his duty toward its care and spurred to help if it were in danger. Teachers of civics in such a community might develop a sense of public responsibility, not only by describing the remote beginnings of the commonwealth, but also how that tube got built, how long it would last, how vital the intake might be if the rainfall on the forested mountains nearby ever changed in seasonal habit or amount. It would be a most unimaginative person, or a stupid one, who could not see the vital relation between the mountains, the forests, that tube and himself."
- Isaiah Bowman, "Headwaters Control and Use - Influence of Vegetation on Land-Water Relationships" 1937 -

"Water is the most basic of all resources. Civilizations grew or withered depending on its availability."
- Dr. Nathan W. Snyder, Ralph M. Parsons Engineering -

"If we could ever competitively, at a cheap rate, get fresh water from saltwater, ..(this) would be in the long-range interests of humanity which could really dwarf any other scientific accomplishments."
- John F. Kennedy -

"Rain is a blessing when it falls gently on parched fields, turning the earth green, causing the birds to sing."
- Donald Worster, "Meeting the Expectations of the Land", 1984 -

"Throughout the history of literature, the guy who poisons the well
has been the worst of all villains..."

- Author unknown -

"Thousands have lived without love, not one without water."
- W.H. Auden -

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."
- Tagore - a Bengali poet and novelist -

"Water should not be judged by its history, but by its quality"
- Dr Lucas Van Vuuren, National Institute of Water Research, South Africa -

"A waster of water is a waster of better."
- Old Irish Adage -

"The wise man of Miletus thus declared the first of things is water"
- J.S. Blackie, 1877 -

"Nothing on earth is so weak and yielding as water, but for breaking down the firm and strong it has no equal."
- Lao-Tsze -

"In sweet water there is a pleasure ungrudged by anyone."
- Ovid, 13 A.D. -

"Solid stone is just sand and water...Sand and water and a million years gone by."
- Beth Nielsen Chapman -

"The noblest of the elements is water"
- Pindar, 476 B.C. -

"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
- Loran Eisley (Anthropologist), The Immense Journey, 1957 -

"Aquifer: a mysterious, magical and poorly defined area beneath the surface of the earth that either yields or withholds vast or lesser quantities of standing/flowing water, the quantity and/or quality of which is dependent on who is describing it or how much money may be at stake."
- R. Radden, "Watershed Resources", Jan. 2002 -

"Water helped ancient man learn those first lessons about the rights of others and responsibility to a larger society.... It became part of the moral and mental legacy parents passed on to their children."
- M. Meyer, "Water in the Hispanic Southwest" -

"Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called rain."
- Michael McClary -

"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."
- Unknown (widely attributed to Mark Twain, but this is under dispute) -

"You could not step twice into the same rivers; for other waters are ever flowing on to you."
- Heraclitus of Ephesus -

"Water is sometimes sharp and sometimes strong, sometimes acid and sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and sometimes thick or thin, sometimes it is seen bringing hurt or pestilence, sometime health-giving, sometimes poisonous. It suffers change into as many natures as are the different places through which it passes. And as the mirror changes with the colour of its subject, so it alters with the nature of the place, becoming noisome, laxative, astringent, sulfurous, salty, incarnadined, mournful, raging, angry, red, yellow, green, black, blue, greasy, fat or slim. Sometimes it starts a conflagration, sometimes it extinguishes one; is warm and is cold, carries away or sets down, hollows out or builds up, tears or establishes, fills or empties, raises itself or burrows down, speeds or is still; is the cause at times of life or death, or increase or privation, nourishes at times and at others does the contrary; at times has a tang, at times is without savor, sometimes submerging the valleys with great floods. In time and with water, everything changes."
- Leonardo da Vinci -

"When you drink the water, remember the spring."
- Chinese Proverb -

"When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water."
- Widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin, via Poor Richard's Almanac, but alas, this quote too is debated -

"Children of a culture born in a water-rich environment, we have never really learned how important water is to us. We understand it, but we do not respect it."
- William Ashworth, Nor Any Drop to Drink, 1982 -

"Don't empty the water jar until the rain falls."
- Philippine proverb -

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives."
- American Indian Saying -

"The stone in the water knows nothing of the hill which lies parched in the sun."
- African Proverb -

"The highest good is like water. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao."
-Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching, chapter 8 -

"By means of water, we give life to everything."
- Koran, 21:30 -

"It is a fascinating and provocative thought that a body of water deserves to be considered as an organism in its own right."
- Lyall Watson, Supernature -

"Water links us to our neighbor in a way more profound and complex than any other."
- John Thorson -

"Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing; it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips."
- Jean Giraudoux -

River Quotes

"We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations."
- David Brower -

"Egypt is the gift of the Nile."
- Herodutus - 5th century B.C.E. -

"Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go."
- Blaise Pascal -

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."
- Heraclitus -

"I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river is a strong brown god - sullen, untamed and intractable."
- T. S. Eliot -

"Until I came to New Mexico, I never realized how much beauty water adds to a river."
- Mark Twain -

"The trees reflected in the river -- they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne -

"How could drops of water know themselves to be a river?"
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery -

"Rivers depend for their existence on the rains and on the water within the earth, as the earth is hollow and has water in its cavities."
- Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (500-428 BC) -

"The Colorado River Compact encourages 'Thelma and Louise' water management. It penalizes for overuse, but only after the fact."
- Brad Udall, Western Water Assessment -

"If man fails to honor the rivers, he shall not gain life from them"
- The Code of the Hammurabi -

"Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life and thoughts - a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing,"
- John M Kauffman, "Flow East" -

"I want my life to be a mountain stream that rushes down wild flowered slopes through pine glades into green valleys, I do not want culverts to contain my force or cement to channel my flow, nothing to break my life's course with roots, stones and sand. "
- Lowell McMullin -

"...Good luck and Good work for the happy mountain raindrops, each one of them a high waterfall in itself, descending from the cliffs and hollows of the clouds to the cliffs and hollows of the rocks, out of the sky-thunder into the thunder of the falling rivers."
- John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra -

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."
- Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It -

"So-this-is-a-River". "THE River," corrected the Rat. "And you really live by the river? What a jolly life!" "By it and with it and on it and in it," said the Rat. "It's brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing. It's my world, and I don't want any other. What it hasn't got is not worth having, and what it doesn't know is not worth knowing. Lord! the times we've had together..."
- Kenneth Grahme, "The Wind in the Willows" -

"I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water…has a fascinating vitality. It has power and grace and associations. It has a thousand colors and a thousand shapes, yet it follows laws so definite that the tiniest streamlet is an exact replica of a great river."
- Roderick Haig-Brown -

"Many a time have I merely closed my eyes at the end of yet another troublesome day and soaked my bruised psyche in wild water, rivers remembered and rivers imagined. Rivers course through my dreams, rivers cold and fast, rivers well-known and rivers nameless, rivers that seem like ribbons of blue water twisting through wide valleys, narrow rivers folded in layers of darkening shadows, rivers that have eroded down deep into a mountain's belly, sculpted the land. Peeled back the planet's history exposing the texture of time itself."
- Harry Middleton -

"To trace the history of a river or a raindrop…is also to trace the history of the soul, the history of the mind descending and arising in the body. In both, we constantly seek and stumble upon divinity, which like feeding the lake, and the spring becoming a waterfall, feeds, spills, falls, and feeds itself all over again."
- Gretel Ehrlich (From Islands, The Universe, Home, 1991) -

“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.”
- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (quoted by the Supreme Court in its decision in U.S. v. Republic Steel, 1960) -

"We let a river shower its banks with a spirit that invades the people living there, and we protect that river, knowing that without its blessings the people have no source of soul."
- Thomas Moore -

"To live by a large river is to be kept in the heart of things."
- John Haines -

Poems and Verses

Don Richmond - a verse from his "Stop AWDI" (groundwater export proposal) protest song

Some of us have taken only what we need,
Some of us have seen the need turn into greed,
Some of us would sell our future down the drain,
Washed down by water from the land of little rain.

Water From the Wells of Home - Song by Johnny Cash (two verses)

My days all run together
Like a timeless honeycomb.
I find myself wishing I could drink again
Water from the wells of home.

I want to come back some day
To the water from the wells of home.
Lord, take me back someday
To the water from the wells of home.

Kansas City Tap Water - Song by Jewel and Steve Poltz (first of 3 verses). (Thanks Gayle for sharing this!)

If I was gonna have a glass of tap water
Where would it be do you suppose
Maybe St. Louis or old Chicago
I have to say that the answer is no

City of Fountains
City of Chiefs
City of Royals
City of Beef (?)

KC water taste like Champagne
Kansas City, Paris of the Plains

Song of the River - William Randolf Hearst (first 3 stanzas).

The snow melts on the mountain,
And the water runs down to the spring,
And the spring in a turbulent fountain,
Has a song of youth to sing.

Then runs down to the riotous river,
And the river flows to the sea,
And the water again goes back to rain,
To the hills where it used to be.

And I wonder if life’s deep mystery
Isn’t much like the rain and the snow,
Returning through eternity
To places it used to know.

The Water Song - (Translated from "water-language"). From "Hinds Feet on High Places", by Hannah Hurnard.

Oh come! let us away—
Lower, lower every day,
Oh, what joy it is to race
Down to find the lowest place.
This the dearest law we know—
"It is happy to go low."
Sweetest urge and sweetest will,
"Let us go down lower still."

Hear the summons night and day
Calling us to come away.
From the heights we leap and flow
To the valleys down below.
Always answering to the call,
To the lowest place of all.
Sweetest urge and sweetest pain,
To go low and rise again.

Water - Chris Dubois; John Lovelace; and Brad Paisley

Inflatable pool full of dad's hot air
I was three years old splashin' everywhere
And so began my love affair - with water

River - Mason Williams (selected stanzas)

I am born in the sky
The silent snow is my seed
In the season of the sun
My crystal blood runs
Over the earth
Gathering unto itself

Whispering in the beginning
I uncover brown and gold
Yellow, red and green
From under the whiteness of my mother
Until I have voice enough
To carry leaves
And roll little stones

I bear the colors of the sky for my banner
And make a path for the wind
And fog for the night
And mist for the morning's meadows
And rainbows when I soar in cataracts

We blend our bloods and soils
And fishes and voices
To carry boats and big logs
Our strength is harnessed
And we are painted and photographed
Marvelled at and swam in
And given a name

Spent and sullied
Slowly we go on down
To be lost in the sea

Sussex - Rudyard Kipling

We have no waters to delight
Our broad and brookless vales—
Only the dewpond on the height
Unfed, that never fails—

Tiegnmouth - John Keats (Second stanza)

There's Arch Brook
And there's Larch Brook,
Both turning many a mill:
And cooling the drouth
of the salmon mouth,
And fattening his silver gill.

Living Waters - Caroline S. Spencer; Published in "The Outlook", September 26, 1896

There are some hearts like wells, green-mossed and deep
As ever summer saw;
And cool their water is - yea, cool and sweet -
But you must come to draw.
They hoarde not, yet they rest in calm content,
And not unsought will give;
They can be quiet with their wealth unspent,
So self-contained they live.

And there are some like springs, that bubbling burst
To follow dusty ways,
And run with offered cup to quench his thirst
Where the tired traveler strays;
That never ask the meadows if they want
What is their joy to give;
Unasked, their lives to other life they grant,
So self-bestowed they live!

And One is like the ocean, deep and wide,
Wherein all waters fall;
That girdles the broad earth, and draws the tide,
Feeling and bearing all;
That broods the mists, that sends the clouds abroad,
That takes, again to give;-
Even the great and loving heart of God,
Whereby all doth live.

The Brook - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

The Doll's Washing - Mary F. Butts (first 2 stanzas). Published in "The Outlook", March 28, 1896

Earth-fairies bring the water
From pond and marshy dell-
Drop by drop, all day, all night,
And fill the deep, deep well.

Down goes the gracefull well-sweep
Along the mossy sides.
Brimful of sparkling water,
Up the bucket rides.

Water - Phillip Larkin, 1954

If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Going to church
Would entail a fording
To try, different clothes;

My liturgy would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,

And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.

Going for Water - Robert Frost

The well was dry beside the door,
And so we went with pail and can
Across the fields behind the house
To seek the brook if still it ran;

Not loth to have excuse to go,
Because the autumn eve was fair
(Though chill), because the fields were ours,
And by the brook our woods were there.

We ran as if to meet the moon
That slowly dawned behind the trees,
The barren boughs without the leaves,
Without the birds, without the breeze.

But once within the wood, we paused
Like gnomes that hid us from the moon,
Ready to run to hiding new
With laughter when she found us soon.

Each laid on other a staying hand
To listen ere we dared to look,
And in the hush we joined to make
We heard, we knew we heard the brook.

A note as from a single place,
A slender tinkling fall that made
Now drops that floated on the pool
Like pearls, and now a silver blade.

I Stood Tip-toe Upon a Little Hill - John Keats (Lines 61-84)

Linger awhile upon some bending planks
That lean against a streamlet’s rushy banks,
And watch intently Nature’s gentle doings:
They will be found softer than ring-dove’s cooings.
How silent comes the water round that bend;
Not the minutest whisper does it send
To the o’erhanging sallows: blades of grass
Slowly across the chequer’d shadows pass.
Why, you might read two sonnets, ere they reach
To where the hurrying freshnesses aye preach
A natural sermon o’er their pebbly beds;
Where swarms of minnows show their little heads,
Staying their wavy bodies ’gainst the streams,
To taste the luxury of sunny beams
Temper’d with coolness. How they ever wrestle
With their own sweet delight, and ever nestle
Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand.
If you but scantily hold out the hand,
That very instant not one will remain;
But turn your eye, and they are there again.
The ripples seem right glad to reach those cresses,
And cool themselves among the em’rald tresses;
The while they cool themselves, they freshness give,
And moisture, that the bowery green may live:

From the song "It's All About the Water" - Jimmie Buffett, 1998

It’s all about da water, don’t you know
Kinja needs da water, da h2o
It’s all about da water, it ain’t no lie
Widout de water we shrivel up and die

De main cistern go down to zero
De new bossman, he be a hero
Solve de problem, so give a cheer-o
He turn on de water!

From the song "One Sweet World" - Dave Matthews Band

Nine planets around the Sun,
Only one does the Sun embrace,
And on this watered one,
So much we take for granted...

From the poem "Keramos" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Turn, turn, my wheel!
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.

Child's Song - Title & author unknown

Water, water everywhere, not a drop to spare
Water in the ground, water in the air
Tho' it may evaporate, it never goes away
Snows onto a mountaintop, flows into a bay
Animals need water, people need it too
Keep it clean for me and I'll keep it clean for you.

"The River Speaks"
Poem by Gene Lindberg (published on front page of the Denver Post Weekly Magazine - February 5, 1933)

Down from the mountains of eternal snow
The streams come tumbling, joining as they flow
To send a river winding toward the sea.
I listen, and the river speaks to me.

It tells of meadows on a thirsty plain;
Of gardens blooming where there is no rain;
Of mighty cities built upon its banks;
Of living things that owe the river thanks.

The waters speak to me, and hurry on,
Eager to come and eager to be gone.
Almost it seems as if the river knew
How many things there are for it to do.

Sometimes it pauses, to lay up a store
of liquid wealth in lake and reservoir,
Then leaps a dam and hastens on again,
Turning a wheel to light the homes of men.

The river speaks, and deserts cease to be;
Wide fields grow green, and ships go down to the sea,
I hear the water singing as it goes:
"Let life go on, because the river flows."

"The Great Sea "
From "In the Trail of the Mind, American Indian Poems" (Eskimo) Edited by John Bierhurst

The great sea-
Has sent me adrift,
It moves me as the weed in a great river,
Earth and the great weather Move me,
Have carried me away
And move my inward parts with joy.

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Excerpt from the Poem by Samuel Coleridge, 1798

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

Poem by Hilda Conkling, Child Poet (1910-1986)

The world turns softly
Not to spill its lakes and rivers,
The water is held in its arms
And the sky is held in the water.
What is water,
That pours silver,
And can hold the sky?


by Ralph Waldo Emerson; 1883

The water understands
Civilization well,
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:

Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.


by Samuel Coleridge; 1828

The Rhine River, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, nymphs! what power devine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?


by Sir Alan Herbert

The rain is plenteous but, by God's decree,
Only a third is meant for you and me;
Two-thirds are taken by the growing things
Or vanish Heavenward on vapour's wings:
Nor does it mathematically fall
With social equity on one and all.
The population's habit is to grow
In every region where the water's low:
Nature is blamed for failings that are Man's,
And well-run rivers have to change their plans.

Words from Thomas H. Ferril, 1940

Here is the land where life is written in water
The West is where the water was and is
Father and son of old mother and daughter
Following rivers up immensities
of range and desert thirsting the sundown ever
Crossing a hill to climb a hill still drier
Naming tonight a city by some river
a different name from last night's camping fire
Look to the green within the mountain cup
look to the prairie parched for water lack
Look to the sun that pulls the oceans up
look to the cloud that gives the oceans back
Look to your heart and may your wisdom grow
to power of lightning and to peace of snow

"Ode, On the General Subject of Water"

by Kenneth Boulding; Feather River Anthology

Water is far from a simple commodity,
Water's a sociological oddity,
Water's a pasture for science to forage in,
Water's a mark of our dubious origin,
Water's a link with a distant futurity,
Water's a symbol of ritual purity.

Water is politics, Water's religion,
Water is just about anyone's pigeon.
Water is frightening, water's endearing,
Water's a lot more than mere engineering.
Water is tragical, water is comical,
Water is far from Pure Economical,
So studies of water, though free from aridity
Are apt to produce a good deal of turbidity.

"Two Tramps in Mud Time" (verse 5)

by Robert Frost, 1936

The water for which we may have to look
In summertime with a witching-wand,
In every wheelrut's now a brook,
In every print of a hoof a pond.
Be glad of water, but don't forget
The lurking frost in the earth beneath
That will steal forth after the sun is set
And show on the water its crystal teeth.

"Gunga Din" (first half of first verse)

by Rudyard Kipling, 1865

YOU may talk o' gin an' beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But if it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.

"Just Add Water"

by David J. Ford

The words on labels tell this tale,
In recipes, in ads by mail,
And chances are, at work or play,
You'll see these famous words today -
Just add water.

You'd be surprised how many things
Are dry and useless till one brings
The magic liquid known to all;
You use it when you heed the call -
Just add water.

To illustrate and prove this thought,
Remember all the food you've bought
On which was printed, clear and bright,
Instructions that make cooking light -
Just add water.

You now can buy
Dried fruits, or soups, or tasty cakes;
To powdered milk and frozen juices,
To products with a thousand uses,
Just add water.

Imagine for a minute, please,
An arid wasteland, bare of trees;
This could be farmland, rich and good
And quite productive if we could
Just add water.

What turns cement into concrete?
What changes seed to golden wheat?
No other words now known to man
Can answer that: but these words can:
Just add water.

"Cool Water"

Cowboy Song

All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water,
Cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry and souls that cry for water,
Cool water.

The nights are cool and I'm a fool each stars a pool of water,
Cool water.
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn and carry on to water,
Cool water.

Keep a movin' Dan, don't you listen to him Dan, he's a devil not a man
and he spreads the burnin' sand with water.
Dan can't you see that big green tree where the waters runnin' free
and it's waiting there for me and you.
Water, cool water.

The shadows sway and seem to say tonight we pray for water,
Cool water.
And way up there He'll hear our prayer and show us where there's water,
Cool Water.

Dan's feet are sore he's yearning for just one thing more than water,
Cool water.
Like me, I guess, he'd like to rest where there's no quest for water,
Cool water.

Movies and T.V. Shows with Water Wells Involved

Title Medium Date Synopsis Players
GI Joe Retaliation Movie 2013, March 29 One of the GI Joes avoids an ambush by dropping down a hand dug well. Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson
Going Medieval History Channel Program 2012 The host explains many aspects of living life in Medieval times. One segment is living in castles and the defense of these structures. He focuses in on the water well and states unequivocally that the single most important element in the defense of a castle was a water well inside the castle walls. He further states that many castles had multiple wells - sometimes as many as four. Unknown
Ghost Hunters TV Series 2011, October (?) Two stories: 1) Shanley Hotel in Napanoch, NY where toddler Rosey fell into the well and died. 2: Fort Niagra in Youngstown, NY where two French officers were dueling with swords and and when one is killed, he is thrown down the fort's well. Sadly, neither ghost is sighted in this episode. Regular Cast
The Well-Digger's Daughter Movie 2011 A widowed laborer (well digger) is raising 6 daughters in rural France as WWI is about to break out. Using dynamite to blast wells down is quite unique. The movie is in French but is sub-titled. Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad
Rango Movie 2011 Rango learns from the Mayor that in the desert, he who controls the water controls everything, and when the town's water is stolen, Rango's posse goes after the thieves - even going into a dewatered aquifer while following the pipes that used to be their source of hydration. Johnny Depp, Ned Beatty, Isla Fisher
The Eagle Movie 2011 As Marcus takes command of his new post in Briton and begins to repair the compound, there are two quick scenes involving a well and drawing water. Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell
Better With You TV Series 2010, December 8 When Maddie discovers Mia is using her pregnancy as an excuse to opt out of the dreaded family Christmas at the lake house, Maddie fabricates a yarn of her own to get out of the trip - that Ben's father has fallen down a well. Regular Cast
Hard Times Movie 2009 A plucky mailman and his accomplices bail on a get-rich-scheme by dumping a load of stolen drugs in the local town well. The town folk start suffering the effects. John Lynch; Cornelius Clark
Secrets of the Taj Mahal Smithsonian Documentary 2009 To solve foundation problems for the tomb area at the building site engineers dug a lattice of wells filling them each with stone to create it's pillar-solid foundation. One well is left open for monitoring and observation.
Samson & Delilah Movie 2009 Two kids in the central Australia desert strike out on their own. The classic and beautiful windmill they return to represents more than a source of water. Rowan McNamara, Marissa Gibson
Capital One Credit Services TV Commercial 2009 Old man Sutter falls into a hand dug well and the dog tries to communicate his fate to his master who is too busy working on his personalized Capital One credit card. Unknown
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Episode 710 TV Series 2009 A domestic water well is drilled for this home makeover in Lena, IL. Regular Cast
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Episode 707 TV Series 2009 A geothermal heating system is installed in this home makeover done in Philo, IL, requiring wells to be completed. Regualar Cast
Wall-E Pixar Movie 2008 In the closing credits, Eve drills the first water well that is the start of Earth's rejuvenation upon the return of the Axiom. Wall-E, Eve
China's Forbidden City - Centre of the World Documentary 2007 In the building of the Forbidden City during the Ming Dynasty, the lead architect ponders how to transport the huge marble blocks for the main steps the 50 miles from the quarry to the city. In Winter, he orders wells dug all along the route. Using the water to freeze the road, he slides the huge blocks all the way to the city.
Barbie, the Island Princess Movie 2007 Wicked Queen Ariana gets mud on her gown and goes to the well to clean it. Prince Luciano and his father the King wonder how she knew the well was there since she's never been on the royal grounds before. Barbie
The Painted Veil Movie 2006 The water well of a small chinese village must be shut down to fight a cholera outbreak. Tensions rise as an English doctor works to fight the epidemic and makes decisions that counter local customs. Ed Norton, Naomi Watts
The Da Vinci Code Movie 2006 In this religious mystery, Langdon is called on to interpret cryptic symbols at a murder scene. The events that unfold will shake the very foundations of Christianity. In a flashback, we discover that Langdon has a childhood well experience that affects him deeply. Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou
300 Movie 2006 When the Persian messengers arrive to discourse with the Spartans, their fate is sealed at the towns public well. Computer generated film
Miracle The Eleventh Hour, Episode 4 Season 1 2006 When a Doctor starts examining the water, he declares other cancer patients who drank it got worse! Still extensive examination of the entire course of the water supplying the well reveals nothing, even though there are a fertilizer - and a hydro-electric plant near by. He is determined to uncover the real plot. Regular Cast
Upside of Anger Movie 2005 The husband disappears - you know where. Joan Allen, Kevin Costner
Wolf Creek Movie 2005 Horror visits 3 travellers in the Aussie outback. Part of the horror is in the old dry water well. This movie is not for the timid. Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips
Gateway to Hell A Haunting Episode 1 Season 2 2005 A mystery of the Licking River - one of the few waterways in the world that flows true north. Bobby doesn't believe the stories, even after his wife Janet and employee Carl are attacked by the dead.... Deep in the bowels of the club is an old slaughterhouse well, harboring an evil older than the River itself. Regular Cast
The Wish Wimble The New Worst Witch Episode 9 Season 2 2005 Someone is allowed one special wish at the magic well in the forest. But the teachers know that Wish Day is not real. The magic water in the well dried up years ago. Regular Cast
The Ring Two Movie 2005 Six months after The Ring, there is more evil lurking in the well. Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, Sissy Spacek, David Dorfman
Yesterday Movie 2004 Yesterday struggules to raise her daughter in a poor Zulu villiage. The lone, hand-crank well is a daily gathering point for news and social interaction - both good and bad. Leleti Khumalo, Lihle Mvelase
Hidalgo Movie 2004 Very thirsty and needing water, Frank and Hidalgo arrive at the desert well guarded by 6 soldiers who deny them access after being paid off to do so. Frank and Hidalgo have a surprise for them. Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Louise Lombard
The Alamo Movie 2004 Under seige by the Mexican Army and noting that the old water well is going dry, Col. Travis orders two men to hand dig a new water well within the Alamo Fortress. Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric
Cold Mountain Movie 2003 Civil War era movie. In one scene future insight is gained by looking backwards into a hand dug well and interpreting the reflections on the water. Jude Law, Renee Zellweger, Nicole Kidman
The Ring Movie 2002 A journalist investigates a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it. A hand dug well plays a prominent role. This is a re-make of a 1998 Japanese movie of the same name. Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman
Lourdes T.V. Movie 2001 A sick girl (Bernadette) gets instructions from the Virgin Mary to dig a wellspring which will produce healing waters. Angele Osinsky
Erin Brockovich Movie 2000 Erin works for a small law firm when she discovers a cover-up involving contaminated groundwater being used by nearby townspeople from their wells. Julia Roberts, Albert Finney
A Civil Action Movie 1998 The civil lawsuit over contaminated groundwater in the public water supply wells for Woburn, MA. John Travolta, Robert Duvall, John Lithgow
The Well Movie 1997 Hester, her father and a housekeeper live remotely in the Aussie outback. Hester accidently runs over a man who she and the housekeeper throw down the well. A psychodrama. Pamela Rabe, Paul Chubb, Miranda Otto
Twister Movie 1996 You might say the well saves the lives of our hero and heroine in this movie as they work to gain scientific insights on tornadoes. Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton
Cold Comfort Farm Movie 1995 Sophisticated Flora Poste from London goes to live with her very rural, very dysfunctional family on a dismal and failing farm - intent on setting them all straight. In an early scene there is definitely trouble in the well. In a later scene chores are being assigned for the day, and son Seth is told to drain the well as a neighbor has come up missing. Later we find who was actually in the classicly constructed hand-dug well. Kate Beckinsale, Eileen Atkins, Rufus Sewell, Stephen Fry
Outbreak Movie 1995 Patient Zero from the 1967 Mutabo incident drank from the common well which infected the entire villiage in Zaire Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland
Water Movie 1995 Everyone wants to control the abandoned oil well that now produces water. Michael Caine, Valerie Perrine
Silence of the Lambs Movie 1991 The heroine is seeking a missing woman. The villain is keeping his victim in a well in his basement. Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Movie 1989 Eddy divulges that Ruby Sue's eyes crossed when she fell into the well, and uncrossed when she got kicked by a mule - go figure! Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid
World Gone Wild Movie 1988 Future setting where Lost Wells Outpost holds the only water in existence after a nuclear holocaust. Survivors will do anything for water. Bruce Dern, Michael Pare
Radio Days Movie 1987 One of the vignettes of this movie deals with a young girl named Polly who falls down an abandoned well in Pennsylvania. It is based on the 1949 tragedy of Kathy Fiscus in California who fell into a well and died during her 3-day, massive rescue attempt. Woody Allen, Seth Green
Old Well Movie 1987 Set in the Taihang Mountains of China, a town struggles to survive in a constant search for water. Zhang Yimou stars as a young man recently returned to his village who tries to find water and is caught between old traditions, new ideas and two women. Zhang Yimou
Everybody's Baby: Jessica McClure Movie 1987 Story of the rescue of 18-month old Jessica McClure of Midland, Texas from an abandoned water well. Patty Duke Astin, Beau Bridges
Baby Boom Movie 1987 Single super-yuppie Mom inherits a baby who uproots her life. She starts her own business and moves to Vermont to run it. Her old farmhouse is a challenge, including repairing the water well. Diane Keeton
Red Headed Stranger Movie 1986 Preacher comes to town and addresses their water problems by digging a well. Willie Nelson, Morgan Fairchild, Katherine Ross
The Last Frontier TV Movie 1986 Dowsing, water well drilling rigs and water wells are featured. Jason Robards, Linda Evans
Jean de Florette Movie 1986 A French film about a man forced to water his crops by well after a neighbor blocks the springs. Gerard Depardiue, Yves Montand
The Goonies Movie 1985 Kids look for pirate treasure and in the search find themselves in the town wishing well. Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman
Days of Heaven Movie 1978 Bill (Gere) is getting a drink of water from the hand dug well when he is warned by the wheat farm foreman, who tells him he knows what he's doing. Richard Gere, Brooke Adams
Chinatown Movie 1974 Orchard farmer, among other water woes, claims 2 of his wells have been poisoned. Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway
Jesus Christ Superstar Movie 1973 The scene where Peter denies Jesus takes place at a water well. Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman
Tomorrow Movie 1972 A lonely, itinerate farmer out of desperation starts work at a Mississippi saw mill. The only redeeming qualities of the shack he is provided to inhabit are the stove and the hand-pump water well right outside. Robert Duvall, Olga Bellin
True Grit Movie 1969 When Maddie Ross comes back to the stable after getting the best of Col. Stonehill in a horse deal, he delivers a line something like: "There was talk of a young-un fallin' head first down a 50 foot well. I'm sorry to see it wasn't you.". John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Strother Martin
Hombre Movie 1967 Needing water desperately, Dr. Favor tries the hand pump well in the abandoned mining camp - to no avail Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone
Camelot Movie 1967 Lancelot decides to go to England and join King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. From his castle parapet he sings "C'est Moi" and a classic well (with bucket and pulley) is clearly in the scene. While not instrumental to the scene or movie, it is clearly a well, but from the roof of his castle?? Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero
The Well Gunsmoke Episode 418, Season 12 1966 Rainmaker tries his stuff before the town well runs dry. Regular Cast
Shenandoah Movie 1965 Mr. Anderson's son James is killed at the hand dug water well by a stranger asking for a drink of water. James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett
The Poisoned Well Ben Casey Episode 21, Season 4 1965 A water Well is poisoned Vince Edwards
Dry Well Gunsmoke Episode 320, Season 9 1964 Marshall Dillon works to get man out of well. Regular Cast
The Miracle Worker Movie 1962 Story of Helen Keller. Much of her learning comes at the well pump. Patty Duke, Anne Bancroft
The Parent Trap Movie 1961 Susan and Verbena are sitting at the hand dug well in the courtyard when Susan tells her that she is actually her twin sister Sharon. Brian Keith, Maureen O'Hara, Hayley Mills
The Gift of Water Bonanza Episode 21 Season 3 1959 Hoss stops to water at the Ganther farm where Jason Ganther is attempting to dig a well and get to water which he believes is just a few further feet down. Hoss decides to help him and they begin drilling for water. Meanwhile ranchers in the high country have started up a vigilante group to keep families from leaving the flat lands and settling in the high country where water is plentiful. Disgusted by the vigilantes the entire Cartwright family soon begins helping the Ganthers. Regular Cast
Spirit of St. Louis Movie 1957 Charles Lindbergh, dead tired, speaks of the places he could sleep - including: "...under the wing of my old jenny by a windmill that pumped sweet water out of a Kansas prairie." James Stewart and Patricia Smith
Mr. Sam'l Gunsmoke Episode 24 Season 13 1955 Medicine man Mr. Sam'l is really a "water witch" who can detect water underground with his divining rod. The exception is a ruthless land grabber who has capitalized on a prolonged drought and all the known wells drying up. The land grabber, secretly, hired professional geologists to locate hidden springs on farmland that the owners are about to abandon and sell -- for a song -- to him. Regular Cast
Bad Day at Black Rock Movie 1954 A man disappears at the Adobe Flats area just outside a small, dusty, one-horse Califormia town and foul play is suspected. Spencer Tracy investigates. He learns that the man found water and dug a 60 foot well. Spencer Tracy, Ernest Borgnine, Walter Brennen
Water Well Oil Cisco Kid Episode 12, Season 2 1951 A young man shoots at Cisco and Pancho over a well Duncan Reynaldo and Leo Carillo
The Well Movie 1951 A racially mixed town works to save a black child who has fallen down a well. Richard Rober, Harry Morgan
The Farmer and the Belle Cartoon 1950 Popeye competes for Olive Oyl's attention by doing chores, including getting water from the well. Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto
The Bicycle Thief Movie 1948 Unemployed man finds his wife fetching water at the public water well to tell her he has found a job. Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House Movie 1948 A NY Advertising exec finds challenges building his own house - including constructing a water well. Cary Grant
Christmas in Connecticut Movie 1945 A magazine columnist, Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyck) is required by her boss to entertain a navy hero on the ideal farm she always writes about. Problem is, the farm is made up. She finds one to use however. You have to look close, but in the scene where Elizabeth and the war hero are returning the cow to the barn, they flirt by a rustic water well. Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet
Sahara Movie 1943 The German army wants a water well under control of enemy troops. Humphrey Bogart
Colt Comrades Movie 1943 Hopalong Cassidy drills for oil but hits water instead - threatening the local water baron. William Boyd, Andy Clyde
The Old Chisolm Trail Movie 1942 Cattle Lady Turner will do anything to keep neighbor from drilling a water well for his cattle as opposed to his buying water from her. Johnny Mack Brown, Tex Ritter, Mady Correll
George Washington Slept Here Movie 1942 A couple moves from Manhattan to a dilapidated country house in Connecticut. A new water well is needed and is drilled with cable tools. Jack Benny, Ann Sheridan, Percy Kilbride
Riding the Wind Movie 1942 A man in control of the towns water uses it as a weapon against the ranchers. The cattlemen decide to drill their own wells for water. Tim Holt, Ray Whitley
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Animated Movie 1937 Wishes are made by the water well. Unknown
Them Thar Hills Movie 1934 Two friends drink from a well in the mountains that is full of abandoned moonshine. Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
The Cheyenne Cyclone Movie 1931 A rancher's water supply has been poisoned and he hires a well driller. But the driller has been paid by a rival to find no water. Lance Chandler, Frankie Darro
Judith of Bethulia Movie 1914 The Assyrian King sends an army to defeat Judea. When their attacks are repeatedly repelled, the army captures Judea's wells and waits out the town. Blanche Sweet, Henry Walthall, Lillian Gish