Collective Action and the Ribbons of Green

A paragraph from the new book Bob Berrens and I are writing about the Rio Grande and the making of modern Albuquerque:

To understand a community – any community – you can start with its water. Collective problem-solving, collective action, lies at the core of community, and our relationship with our water requires us to come together. Our communities grow up around water – bays around which to fish, harbors for our boats, rivers from which to drink, bathe, and irrigate our crops. The problems posed by those ways of life quickly become collective: How do we share the costs and benefits of diverting water to irrigate lands? How do we ensure the drainage from our irrigation doesn’t leave those living adjacent to the river downstream in a pestilent swamp?