Let’s imagine that in the future…
…the cities on the Great Lakes and the cities in the southwest vote to pass a treaty that establishes a trade. The arid southwest gets a pipeline bringing fresh water in exchange for clean solar energy for the rust belt region on the Great Lakes.
…the people in the southwest go crazy over the delicious taste of Great Lakes water. Great Lakes water and food pairing happens (Lake Superior goes well with steak, Lake Erie for fish and pasta dishes). The buzz over the winning taste of Great Lakes water spreads across the country and people begin to buy bottled Great Lakes water but for a high cost.
…A local Cleveland woman starts a small business where she collects sand, stone, sea glass, zebra mussel shells, driftwood and sea weed from nearby beach on the shores of Lake Erie where she lives. She sells packages of this debris as Lake Erie Potpourri. Customers pour their city’s own tap water over the Lake Erie Potpourri to achieve Great Lakes taste, similar to pouring water over tea leaves and spices to make tea. This allows customers to achieve Great Lakes taste for the price of tap water. Her business is booming. We meet and follow her around on a day where she is harvesting potpourri for a customer who needs Great Erie water for an important fundraiser in Miami in three days time. She talks about her previous protests against the idea of a Great Lakes pipeline and is not oblivious to the irony that although she voted against it, she is now benefiting from its existence. And so is Cleveland. The city known as “The Mistake on the Lake” has undergone such a revival now that it has clean energy and a certain cache because of the taste of its water that it now has high speed trains and hosts fashion week.