Saturday, January 9, 2010
In Quenching Our Thirst
Many of you know there has been a water issue surrounding our beloved Blue River for the last seven or eight years now. The issue still remains and will for sometime.
Water will soon be our most valuable natural resource... more valuable than oil ever could be. Currently over two-thirds of the states in America face water issues and woes, and solutions thus far have been quite short-sighted.
I hope many of you caught the report on the CBS Evening News last night but in case you didn't I've created an avenue for you to read the article. Please take the time to read Water Woes.
I certainly don't pretend to know everything about water and it's usage. Actually, my knowledge is probably quite limited, however I continue to try and educate myself.
I do know enough to share that for example here on the Prairie Ocean the number one user of water is the agriculture industry. Agriculture plays a dynamic part in our overall economy and the availability of water is critically important to this sector. However, it is my hope that the agriculture community will continually strive to seek new technologies that will allow them to produce with less water.
With water and it's usage my radical side comes out on occasions when I think of the way we use water that are unnecessary. Two prime examples are car washes and bottled water.
There's nothing wrong with wanting a clean car, but often time it's too easy to make washing our vehicles a ritual, fringing on obsession, and the fact is having a clean car is not a right... it's a privilege and choice. I think that every car wash in America should be hit with a hefty water consumption yearly fee and for sure that fee will be passed on to us who use car washes to cleanse our rides. Instead of us having to dole five dollars out of the pocket... we'll be spending ten and that can certainly be a deterrent to visiting the car wash so often.
Don't get me wrong... never have I been much of a fan for increased consumer surcharges or taxation. But I will admit there are some instances that increased fees or taxes have had positive results. A prime example is the heavy tax on the tobacco industry which has led to an almost forty percent reduction in the number of tobacco users in the last twenty years. If a fee would entice all of us to use forty percent less water... then we might be headed down the road in managing our water better.
When it comes to bottled water I simply want to shake my head in disgust. Bottled water has become nothing but a convenient, trendy, fashion thing to do. Oh for sure, there are some that will tell us they drink bottled water because of health concerns but chances are that "Gushing Springs" label on that bottle is just a marketing scheme. The water in the bottle mostly likely came from some municipal water supply. Our landfills are filling up with empty plastic water bottle with those catchy labels on them... quite quickly.
Maybe we should put a hefty tax on every single container of bottled water that is sold and earmark that money for a special fund to help people install water conservation appliances - i.e. low flush toilets, water miser appliances, drought tolerant sod and grass. This would be an excellent use of an increased tax.
As outdoors people our voices can play an important role in the future of water and it's usage. Let us all remind ourselves of the stewardship we own and act on that responsibility.