Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Ignorant Attitude

The use of water for many in the Southwest elicits a head in the sand, nearly schizophrenic, reaction from some people.   In the face of naturally occurring water scarcity aggravated by global warming [see Krugman comment, below] there is sentiment that all sectors of the environment are the same.
. The facts, however, bring us back to reality.
The Verde River has toxic waste emptied 
into it at many points along its flow through 
Living conditions in the desert are different than the conditions of living in the Midwest. Concessions must be made for a desert environment where precipitation is below 12 in. per year, water resources that are being over-used, and struggling with a high component of toxic waste.
As a point of reference, the Ogalalla Aquifer in the Midwest forces water upward to within 2 ft. of the surface. It is one of the key reasons for the veto of the Keystone Pipeline and a resource that distinguishes the Midwest environment from that of the Southwest.

A common response from residents of Arizona :

"Yikes! Thanks for speaking up on this, Katie! Just the idea of looking at water as a COMMODITY scares the beejeezus out of me... and i agree, taxing the shit out of those of us who have gardens just seems so wrong. I agree that wasting water is bad, and i try to collect rainwater to water my garden, but for fruit trees and other trees, there's usually not enough. This is a huge issue. Clarkdale doesn't want anybody to water anything so they can continue to grow their population...."

In other words, "C'mon, guys, all I want are a few fruit trees. It's not so bad...I use rainwater for my other plants."

The presence of rivers often gives people the idea that
water is plentiful.
Our "Yikes!" comment continues. . . for "those who can afford to continue watering, the price of water won't matter. So once again, the poorer will suffer... the rich will have their lawns and pools, the poor will be robbed of growing decent food. And yes, there are just too damn many people already for sustainability."

In the column, "This Tribal Nation," by Paul Krugman in the NY Times:". . .having a college degree didn’t appear to make one any more open to what scientists have to say (on global warming). On the contrary, better-educated were more skeptical of modern climate science than their less educated brethren."

Water issues are not social issues, hobby farms and ranches excluded. The availability of water for non-essential uses simply subtracts from the amount that will be available for essential ones in the future.