While it took 3.8 billion years to sequester minerals that surround what is still commonly referred to as New York City and build a baptismal freshwater flow, it took less than 100 years of industrial experimentation to corrupt it, and more than 150 years to build a public water system that’s been continually in process…
“This earthly matter is an abundant fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of minerals, plants, and animals that comprise it. Some energy dissipated in decay, some is added by absorption from air, some is stored in soils, peats, and long-lived forests; but it is still a circuit, a slowly augmented revolving fund of life. There is always a net loss by downhill wash, but this is small and offset by the decay of rocks, that in the course of geological time, rises up to form new lands.”
-from A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold.