INC NEWS - Drought, lessons learned from
Mike - Hotmail
mwshiflett at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 14 10:07:43 EST 2007
Drought, lessons learned fromThe current drought is just one of the reasons our water supplies are so low at this point in time.
Demand for water by ever increasing new residents into our region has resulted in over all higher consumption of this valuable resource.
Conservation can only take us so far. However without an evaluation on the impact growth has on basic services and infrastructures even it's implementation via restrictions, mandatory conservation ordinance rules, fines and penalties or increases in fee structures will fail to solve the dilemma we are stuck in.
"A spigot only works to control the flow, how hard and long it can function depends on the limitation and demand coming from both ends"
Mike Shiflett December 2007
----- Original Message -----
From: Laura Drey
To: Interneighborhood council
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 6:53 AM
Subject: INC NEWS - Drought, lessons learned from
I sent the following note to Durham City Council and Durham County Commissioners, Durham city and Durham county managers, a few reporters and activists
I happened to have ridden over Falls Lake on Hwy 85 today [December 12] and witnessed the lakes having trickled into a water body the size of a creek. The lack of water causes me much anguish and frustration.
Having been interviewed yesterday about what steps I have implemented to conserve water I thought I would put some of my water saving methods into writing. (I am sure that there additional measures I am doing to save on my water consumption that are not listed here.) You are welcome to report any of what I have written, except where I have written off record in brackets. (You may call or email me first to get my approval for things I have said that are off record.)
The steps I am taking to conserve on water are:
A. I collect water in a dishpan while the shower is running.
B. I take showers less frequently.... Sometimes I turn the water off while I am lathering up. I have shortened my brief showers.
C. I have taking taking my car to a car wash because I can do with a dirty car.
D. I collected and than shared water saving methods with others to encourage people to conserve their water. Some of the organizations I distributed information to deal with lower income folks and for them, as with everyone else, conservation also serves to save people money. I figured that once people learn what can be done that activists and other Durham citizens may demand that changes be carried out by governmental officials and than perhaps together we will bring these ideas into fruition.
E. My aim in writing the Durham City Council and Durham Country Commissioners, City and County Managers is that each governmental body will institutionalize stronger, mandatory water conservation measures long term. A fall back position would be to increase the number of voluntary measures industry, business and residences are asked to follow. At a minimum I hope that the city's water conservation person and fire chief will publicize additional measures for saving water and preventing fires on the city's web page, in our water bills and in press releases. Ideally I would like to see people continue to conserve water after the drought is over so that water saving measures become habit.
Water saving procedures that I continue to follow:
1. I flush the toilet as is truly needed.
2. I catch water while the water is warming up for showers and to wash the dishes.
3. I use all of the water that is collected to water plants or for household chores.
I am concerned about our drought and how we are handling it and what procedures we could be taking in order to decrease our usage of water. I have questions of governmental leaders on all levels. Why did it take such a long time for the government to act? Another issue is what are the lessons state and local elected representatives, appointed governmental bodies and officials have learned that can be applied all of the time and during times of droughts. In my opinion conserving water are actions industry, businesses as well as residences ought to be required to do year round.
People need to understand and be reminded of the reasons for saving water. Not only is conserving our water resources a good thing to do to preserve our water for drinking and other bare necessities now but doing so also extends our ability to use water in our everyday lives in the future. We are finding out every day what a precious resource water is.
In conclusion, the story of the drought and its implications is not going away any time soon. It can take years for the environment to recover following a drought. We did not recuperate from previous drought levels when 2007s drought began. We will have droughts in the future. It is only a matter of how strenuous and the duration of the droughts.
P.S. I have a second issue that is of significant concern. I recently learned that directly behind my house there used to be a dry cleaning establishment. The state has contracted out testing of soil and water for toxic chemicals. The contractors on site and the woman from state government told me that they may reveal to me the test results of the soil and water. Potentially having information withheld from me infuriates me. I believe it is not a matter of if the ground and water is contaminated but with what substances and at what concentration level.
Back in the 1980s I was one of the people who worked diligently with People's Alliance and North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Project to get a strong Right to Know ordinance passed in Durham. (Right to Know ordinances provide workers and people who live close to companies that handle chemicals the right to know what they are working with and living near and the possible health consequences of exposure.) Unfortunately the state over rode our ordinance with a weaker bill.
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