Aaron is the magazine's latest 'Wonking Class Hero', and they've got that right, as he is a charter member of the WaterWonks.
Aaron has been the subject of numerous articles throughout the years and this ranks as one of the best, as it starts "from the beginning".
And as you can see from the photo, Aaron doesn't quite walk on water, but what you can't see is that his feet aren't really touching bottom.
The first few paragraphs of Tom Jacobs' article:
In 1991, as Aaron Wolf was finishing his doctoral dissertation, the Madrid Middle East peace process was just getting under way. The two sides decided to tackle five sets of regional issues, including the equitable division of water resources. As a budding expert on the subject — his research focused on the Jordan River and its dual role as "a flashpoint and a vehicle for dialogue" — Wolf agreed to advise the U.S. team designing the talks.
Fifteen years later, one remnant of that failed attempt at Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking remains: the water negotiations. "They still go on," Wolf says. "The two sides have cooperative projects. In the second intifada, when they realized how much violence there was going to be, they took out a joint advertisement asking both sides to try to protect the water infrastructure."
The lessons of that enduring success have stayed with Wolf as he has pursued his remarkable dual career, as an Oregon State University scholar studying water-resource issues and a hands-on mediator of water disputes around the world. Water, he has come to understand, is so central to the human experience that it can help even bitter enemies find common purpose.
Aaron has lately begun to address and explore the spiritual aspects of water in his work.
On the other hand, Wolf notes that "all spiritual traditions — not just (those) in the religions that come out of the desert — seem to tap into water as healing, soothing and cleansing." This shared sense of sacredness gives him hope for the future, as does the resilience of many water agreements. "India and Pakistan have a water treaty that has survived since 1960 — through two wars," he says. "In the middle of one of the wars, India made payments to Pakistan as part of their treaty obligations."
"I think water hits us at a profoundly different level than other resources," he adds. "People are willing to do horrible things to each other. What they seem not willing to do is turn off each other's water."
He is someone who is truly making this world a better place to live, and I am proud to have him as a friend and colleague.
An appropriate post for this Christmas Day.
"I was told this joke: 'In America, what's the opposite of speaking? Waiting to speak!'" -- Aaron Wolf