One more inch of water…what’s it worth?

An inch is such a tiny measurement, isn’t it? 

I know you all understand what an inch looks like, but for the purposes of this blog, here’s a visual:  ___________

I was reading an article published by the National Ocean Service (NOS) about the impact of one inch of water for cargo ships.

A ship needs a certain amount of water to float and not touch bottom; the water depth is called the ship’s “draft.” The more cargo a ship carries, the more it will weigh, and the more it will sink and need more draft. 

Even a slight decrease in the depth of a waterway will require a ship to carry less cargo. And conversely, one more inch of water means larger ships with millions of dollars more cargo. It also means fewer total trips to carry all that cargo, which translates to less environmental impact and cheaper goods. 

The NOS states that one more inch of water depth in a port means that a cargo ship can carry 57 more tractors.

Let me say that again. ONE MORE INCH of water depth means a cargo ship can carry 57 MORE TRACTORS. 

Isn’t that wild?

When I think about that huge cargo ship carrying all those tractors, I imagine the water underneath–how the water cradles and holds the ship upright, how it cushions the impact of all that heaviness, and how even one more tiny inch makes such a huge impact in that ship’s ability to carry the load and do what needs to be done.

And then I consider how a healthy community functions. How each of us alone is one little inch of water, but together we can move even the heaviest load across an ocean. 

What we can achieve alone pales in comparison to what we can do together.

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