I’ve written numerous times about my irritation (to put it mildly) with aberrant water usage. Living in a city that has constant water restrictions, using a cistern (hauled water) for my own water usage in my home, and watching the lake volumes dwindle, I have very strong feelings about the ways we use (and waste) water.Wired Science recently aired a segment on the ways that Phoenix is being innovative in the use and management of water. The problem with the segment is that it ignores how much water Phoenix is using at the expense of the rest of the state. They have lush green lawns and burgeoning trees and beautiful flowers while the rest of the state is on restrictions, practices xeriscaping, and deals with the real issue of dryness leading to catastrophic forest fires and bark beetle infestations.
I understand it’s bad. I do. But the issues that they are dealing with are issues that we, in the west, have been dealing with for decades. Some of us have to haul water. Most of us have to go without lush green lawns and pretty flowers. Our lakes aren’t down just a few feet. Oh, no. They are down METERS. Some have dried up.
So when I hear of people drilling wells on their property just so they can irrigate those pristine lawns and keep those flowers blooming, I get angry. I get angry because they are taking water from a ground supply to do something unnecessary. They are taking water that may be able to help others with water necessities to keep up their unnecessary habits.
When we hear that water is the next oil, we should consider this carefully and look at the examples that people in Georgia are setting. The “haves” are drilling for water to make their lawns green. The “have-nots” are begging for water to be hauled in to their towns just to be able to drink and clean.
The war of water is not in the future. it’s now. And it’s time that we do something about it.