singer-songwriter Jewel

h2o mp3: Kansas City Water (Live) – Jewel

singer-songwriter JewelYou likely know singer-songwriter Jewel for her impressive musical talent; many also know her as a champion for water issues. During her June 2010 concert in Kansas City (I didn’t get to go!) she and collaborator Steve Poltz wrote and performed an exclusive song about Kansas City’s fine tap water (and barbeque!) and lucky for us, I’ve come across an mp3!

While you’re listening, check out Project Clean Water, a foundation that Jewel established in 1997 that aims to improve the quality of life for millions of people by helping to provide clean water on a global scale. That’s music to our ears! According to her official website, she became interested in water issues when…

I was 18 and lived in my car. I had sick kidneys and had to drink 2 gallons of purified water a day. I could not afford to buy much bottled water, and it dawned on me that if it was this hard to get clean drinking water in the United States, then it was probably a huge global issue. Boy, was I right.

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

What’s a Fountain Without Water?

That’s the subject of a personal photo project I’ve been working on this past month. In Kansas City, Missouri (the urban counterpart to my suburban Shangri-la) 47 public fountains will be turned on April 6th, the city’s annual “Fountain Day.”

kansas city mo dry muse of missouri fountain

In Kansas City, MO: The Muse of Missouri, dry.

In 2009, severe budget problems drove city officials to threaten that that the fountains would remain dry due to lack of funds. Political grandstanding, maybe, but the citizenry greeted the proposal harshly and vocally. This year there were no such attacks on the fountains, although other basic city services will see budget cuts and/or rate increases (including water).

What’s a fountain without water? It’s not like a wallet without money; it’s more like a soul without joy.

(If you can’t view the slideshow below (Internet Explorer users, probably talkin’ about YOU) visit the full set on my Flickr page.)

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Busted: Felony Possession of Water

Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, weapons, a-OK, proceed ahead. Water? Contraband, you’re busted! We’re no fan of bottled water, but is it really this high up on the sin and shame-scale these days?

Kansas City’s ROCKFEST, supposedly the biggest one-day rock music festival in the country, took over the town last month, and some commenters at KC’s premier rock blog, BacktoRockville, describe just how criminal bottled water has become:
Photo: Jill Toyoshiba/The Star via

Photo: Jill Toyoshiba/The Star via

Rockfest is a bizarre event. Here are some of my observations: I saw a lady forced to pour out a 30 oz bottle of water, but inside, I saw open drug use from pot, to crack, to cocaine. How people can be padded down for water but keep the illegal drugs tells you something immediately. The performers literally encourage the drug use, screaming from the stage how great (the pot) smelled. I personally had no problem getting into Rockfest with a large pocket knife that I literally forgot was in the pocket of my cargo shorts, but had to hand over my opened bottle of water in case it had booze in it… And to the organizers of ROCKFEST….dudes….come on…..while you are focusing on keeping people from carrying too much water in, people are easily taking everything else in there under the sun! (original comment here.)

While another commentor noted,

The much hyped watering stations for refilling bottles? I saw only one.

And here’s proof that it’s not an isolated podunk Midwestern incident, but a cresting global trend! Via,

Photo: CATERS via

(London, June 11) A plane passenger was able to take a six-inch serrated knife past airport security but was stopped before boarding for carrying a bottle of water.

Adrian Elvy, who was flying from Bristol to Barcelona and owns a stock delivery company, said he forgot to take care of the knife, which he uses to open boxes in his warehouse, while packing. The 39-year-old revealed he was stopped by authorities after they saw a bottle of water in his bag and missed the knife, which features a serrated edge and a separate three-inch ’spike’ for loosening sailing knots.

Portland tap water really sticks with you

Think you can out-sticker me? Trying to get yourself on the map? Go ahead and try! Don’t have a sticker, you say? No excuse because I’ve scanned one for you! Download a pdf copy here and print off your own. Then, snap a photo of Portland Water’s “I Only Drink Tap Water” sticker in your town and email it to Jennie Day-Burget at the Portland Water Blog. Just remember I was first.

To digest a long and funny story as briefly as possible,

  1. I read The Portland Water Blog (you should, too–hugely informative and entertaining!)
  2. PWBlogmistress Jennie Day-Burget writes on the Blog that, “Our ‘I Only Drink Tap Water’  sticker was seen all the way in Berkeley, California!”
  3. PWBlogmistress generously offers to send stickers to other Blog-fans who request them.
  4. I, of course, request some and PWBlogmistress mails some stickers to me.
  5. I think, well… I live in Kansas City, so I can outdo Berkeley, California distance-wise. And then…

We put the sticker on our town’s beloved Kansas City Scout, photographed it, and sent it to the PWBlogmistress who shared it with the people of Portland!

Awesome! But wait a minute. Someone’s sure to try to outdo me! Maybe you? See the top of the post.