Water Use – Do we Value Fresh Water Too Little?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Kitty Wooley 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #142645

    John Westra
    Participant

    A couple of days ago I noticed an article over on Smart Planet, titled

    Cities that charge more for water see fewer unexplained losses Read more HERE

    The article cites research showing a correlation between water cost and water loss. Have your water costs gone up? What about your communities water loss? Does your community / water & sewer dept./provider publish water loss statistics?

    Do you think we value fresh water too little? What are some govloop community ideas for ways local governments can do to better job managing and protecting this valuable resource. Are Smart Meters an answer? What about communities that depend on outside water sources, like those in Arizona? Should development be limited to projects that can be water self-sustaining? I believe the answer to this last question is yes!

  • #142653

    Kitty Wooley
    Participant

    I agree! This has been in the back of my mind ever since Cadillac Desert. It would be an interesting and useful research project to catalogue the ways desert community governments conserve water now. For example, here are two successful approaches used in Colorado Springs, a “high desert” town about an hour’s drive south of Denver:

    • Watering only on certain days of the week. This used to be done by even/odd street address number but may be determined by other means now. Mundane but effective.
    • Xeriscape gardening. I was introduced to this by my mother, a Colorado Master Gardener. There’s a demonstration garden up on the mesa, near Garden of the Gods, that shows people lovely, low-water, low-maintenance substitutes for traditional green lawns. Good starter video by Colorado Springs Utilities here.
  • #142651

    We take water for granted as a renewable resource and therefore waste it…but I believe wars will be fought over this precious commodity in the not-too-distant future.

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/the-dark-side-of-natural-resources-st/water-in-conflict.html

    So – do we just enjoy it while we can…or start to take measures to prepare society for the challenges that await us (and that we can potentially avert)?

    Could these conflicts come (quite literally) to America’s shores?

  • #142649

    Peter Sperry
    Participant

    Part of the problem is the cost of transporting water from where it is plentiful to where it is scarce can easily exceed the value. Major irrigation and pipeline systems may move it up to 1200 or 1500 miles but much further simply isn’t practical. Nevertheless, we have flood prone sections of the east coast required to buy low flow toilets/shower heads and subject to nagging about water conservation because the south west is running short by trying to build golf courses in deserts. Rather than impose national standards (particularly ones requiring the use of substandard products), we need to take a more regional approach to the issue. Charge reasonable market rates for water based on an auction system and patterns of development will change more rapidly than you might imagine.

  • #142647

    Geri Proctor
    Participant

    I agree that water is taken for granted. My husband and I ranch for a living as well as my job with the federal government and we depend on water to make a living, the weather can make or break us. I think that desert communities need to be more responsible for water loss and that a regional approach is needed to plan the use of water.

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