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What´s up with water: Pouring water into your corporate strategy (VII) The cycle of water is explained in Part B

After this lovely relaxing weekend, our batteries are fully replenished and we are going to proceed further with our findings. Please, as usual, find our status in the timeline, and the material prepared for you as a guideline for our next paragraphs.

If you wish to download the last slides in PDF, click here:

Corporate strategy starts with history, archeology, and historic traces of art/literature. In our last episode, we left on hold the discoveries of the water cycle of our ancestors from the XVIII, XIX, and more recently the XX centuries. We will kick-off our today’s publication with that. These findings come from two authors Raymond Nace and Kylie Carman Brown (look at the bibliography below), but it is well possible that other sources of findings can be hidden in ancient books that we need to dust off. For the saga, we are just exemplifying how to do it, so we will limit our today´s publication scope to these two authors, but be sure that if I were hired with a consulting mandate like this one, we have to expand and go back in time to do research, a most serious investigation about all the theories behind the water cycle. Moreover, and I will repeat it again, as corporate strategists, remember that we are instructed to make sense of reality, so we can´t dismiss the past, because our civilization doesn´t start or end with our own 80 to 100 years. There is a way long history behind us. And we need to start with the historic basics of science, climate change, ecology, environment, etc; even if it feels too demanding for some, or straightforward for others. We need to go back to the historical, to understand from where on earth our current theories about an issue are coming from, in this case, the subject is water. We have to do it, it is not an option, it is an integrated and integral approach to our problems. So let´s start where we stopped in our last chapter.

7. Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries:

Diagram of a constant-flow bottle, now known as Mariotte’s bottle, in “Traité de movement des Eaux”, by Edmé Mariotte, 1686 (Linda Hall Library). Illustrative and non-commercial image. Source:

Before landing on these two centuries, let´s see a bit of what happened with the water cycle investigations in the XVII siècle.  This was the period in which the French hydrologist and writer Pierre Perrault (3) dedicated time of his life to understanding the origin of water springs(4). The same happened to Edmé Mariotte(5). Both continued their development of the water cycle concepts, experimenting and understanding the precipitation by evaporation and streamflow. Both recognized soil moisture and ground-water recharge. Perrault had the concept of bank storage in river valleys and return flows. Mariotte’s most important work was in experimental mechanics, pneumatics, and hydraulics (4). Edmond Halley, took the atmospheric arc of the hydrological cycle into the table, by finding the source of atmospheric water vapor and attempted to show a balance in the complete cycle of water movement.

With the basic parameters of the hydrological cycle established, the research toward developing an accurate proof of evidence of the concept started in the XVII century with John Dalton (6), who studied water identity in evaporation, and recognized that evaporation and precipitation are opposite processes. Dalton´s measurements, experiments, and deductions were recorded to estimate each component of the water cycle separately, showing an imbalance. Look what he realized: there was a disbalance then. Jean Claude DelaMethiere (1743-1817) (7) noted that the rainfall was disposed of in different “simultaneous” ways; as direct runoff to streams, evaporation, and transpiration, and storage as soil moisture or deeper as groundwater.  In 1845, Robert Kane calculated the water power available by subtracting evaporation from precipitation. Thomas Mulvany recognized the effect of human activity on the hydrological cycle. In addition, Russian scientists of that period were among the first to recognize and attempt to evaluate the importance of vapor fluxes from maritime sources as contributors to inland continental precipitation. In summary, during these two centuries, many observations were recorded in books that still need to be reviewed. Again. Raymond Nace encourages us to look for help from historians to consult these sources and devote considerable efforts to studying each of these individuals’ findings, to look for details that could have been lost in the XX century. Anyway, it was during these two centuries that humans learned that they could alter the water flux for their wants and needs. The consequences of all these discoveries are found in all the mega water projects that were built in every single city with the first industrial revolution, starting with water supply collection in artificial reservoirs, sewerage, and drainage.

Water is all around us. In everything we do. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Photo Source: Microsoft Office Library.

8. Twentieth century: It is during this period that multiple hydrologists and specialists in water landed into the schematic representation of the hydrological cycle, as we already know it. The premise of the hydrological cycle as a closed system was installed without any questioning. Our past century’s water cycle on the hydrological cycle was based on the assumption that the inputs equal outputs plus or minus a change in storage. This mathematical equation version of the hydrological cycle is what has been employed in policy, planning, and management decisions. It was formalized in the 1930s by the American hydrologist Robert Horton. By the 1970s decade, it was clear that water couldn´t be seen as a separate resource from the land uses of humans. The effect of water pollution came to our acquaintance too. In addition, several studies confirmed the hypothesis that the surface-water features (streams, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, estuaries, etc) are in continuum interaction with ground water.

9. Early Twenty-First Century: During the last two decades of the XX century and our days, the Horton quantitative version of the hydrological cycle has begun to be interrogated. Climate Change and discoveries about the structure of the mantle and core of planet earth are coming out into our views, disturbing the established paradigms. In addition, there is a future of data coming, indeed, but arriving from the space, from those who are preparing to add knowledge information from the International Space Station (ISS). Contemporary Researchers from what is called the developing world are also offering new lights to the European/American schemes. To prepare for this post, I have had to read published papers in journals from people such as Bras, Falkenmark, Panwar/Chakrapani, Pittock (and his team), Matos de Abreu (and his peers), Micklin, Durack, Lagerloef-Schmitt-Schanze-Kao, Gleick and some more that are not cited, and sadly may escape to my typing today. I apologize for not mentioning all of them. But the spirit of these researchers is to question the hydrological cycle concept of the XX century. Particularly because hydrologists have recognized that they can´t solve these questions alone, as when Perrault or even Horton explored them. We are arriving at a time in which scientists and technical engineers need to work all together with environmentalists, oceanographers, climate change experts, ecologists, archeologists, human development specialists, spatial observers (who are in the International Space Station), and even art historians or historiographers who can help to take back the theories that were dismissed in our trajectory to this day.  There is a lot to discover when it comes to the water cycle, and it is crucial to connect everyone (from every discipline) to find the truth about it, paving the road for the next generations to continue thinking integrally about what could be the right explanation of it. See the last two slides of the material prepared for today.

What is the water cycle?. As we promised to give you an answer about this, let me write how we, as corporate strategists can define the hydrological cycle. We conceive the hydrological cycle as a matter of “work-in-progress” findings. It is a dynamic answer. Whatever was defined before I am writing this sentence is being examined. Hydrologically certain discoveries of the phenomena need to be seen not in isolation, but within multidisciplinary teams. The higher the mark of our understanding, the more complex and ample the solution. As Carman-Brown states it cleverly in her book: A new version of the hydrological cycle is coming (she defines it as the fifth version of it). “We live daily at the conjunction between the fourth and the fifth version of the hydrological cycle,” she writes (2). For the time being, since corporate strategists are always planning ahead of time for investment projections, it is crucial to attend this publication. There is a sacred connection between water supply and our civilization well being. If we don’t know what is happening with water on our planet, we have the power to continue destroying our water natural systems for future generations with all our advice on human endeavors of any type. Let’s stop making this. For God’s sake. Water matters.

Our graphical representation of the natural water cycle concept is in a work-in-progress review. Illustrative and non-commercial image

We will stop here with our core content. And we will continue with the oceans on Friday. Let´s proceed with the musical note for today.

Strategic Music Section:

Why did we choose Janine Jansen? Our past matters. We selected Jansen because there is a history behind her success. Probably her genes were the foundations of her talent. What is clear to us is that Jansen, a dutch violinist from the Netherlands came from a musical family. Her father is a recognized organist, and pianist; her mother, is a classical singer; her two brothers, a harpsichordist and a cellist; and one of her uncles is a bass singer. In her biography ( ), we have learned that she started to play the violin at the age of 6. And she has been trained to become what she is, through several phases of dedicated schooling. In addition, her tool is a Strad. “Janine Jansen plays the Shumsky-Rode Stradivarius from 1715, on a generous loan by a European benefactor”. We wish to illustrate the life of Jansen because heritage from our families may affect us positively (as in the case of Jansen) in discovering our gifts or hidden capacities. It is up to us to search for them to make the appropriate career choices. Jansen is busy at the moment and she is reinventing her violin endeavors again. Nevertheless, there is hope for those parents who were not born musicians but would like to help their kids to open up the choice for music because by luck you have discovered that gift of God in the violin hands of your kids, please don´t cease to support them. If the music teacher of your kid has found the gift in them, don´t lose them to explore music as an option of living, with an international perspective. Educators play a crucial role in finding treasures. Teaching music at schools (public and private) is a passageway to uncovering these kids’ talents at earlier ages. The trail to becoming an excellent musician starts when the professor of music identifies the gift and directs it into higher avenues. Many kids can raise from poverty if they find that genius strength soon. Then hard work and practice make the rest. That is why education of music in traditional presence at schools ways is so important. We can´t lose the future musicians of tomorrow.

Songs of today belong to a more youthful one, to Christian Li. We choose different levels of violinists in this section. The bottom line is that they have received the chance to play a Stradivarius or a Guarneri del Gesu or another oldie ancient violin that is of distinguished approval. Sometimes we opt for the consecrated artists that are way ahead in the pinnacle of recognition and fame. Other times we select emerging new violinists that are developing their grace, style, and capacities with the violin. Lastly, we also wish to add standing to the kids. Today is the turn of Christian Li. Two videos accompany us today. With Christian, we close the cycle of Antonio Vivaldi, interpreting the primavera section altogether with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: The Four Seasons, Violin Concerto No. 1 in E Major, RV 269 “Spring” – I. Allegro. The second song is Salut d’Amour Op.12 composed by the British Edward William Elgar.

See you next Friday, with the eighth episode of “What´s up with water: Pouring water in your corporate strategy”. The best is yet to come. Thank you for reading to me.

“Violin Maya”. An aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante 2019. I started to paint this artwork in Starbucks Los Proceres, San Salvador. Montval 300GSM watercolor paper. Size: 48 cm x 38 cm.

Sources of Reference utilized to prepare the slides and the material above:

  1. Micklin, P. “Man and the water cycle: challenges for the 21st century”. Springer Geo Journal, July 1996, Vol. 39, No. 3, Global Change and Environmental Issues: Research and Pedagogy (July 1996), pp. 285-298
  4. Matos de Abreu, F.; Montenegro, A. ; Ramos Ribeiro, M.; Carrico de Lima A. and Sousa, W. “The hydrologic Cycle: an open or a closed system”. Geográfica Magazine, Pan American Institute of Geography and History. 2005, no 137

Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated. 

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