Finding New Water

The Comprehensive Water Package, passed through legislature last November, proposes to bring more water to Southern California by transforming the state’s water system. It will be presented to the people of California in November as the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010. This “historic” bill, as it’s being touted, comes in the form of a bond. Is this just another name for a tax?

THIS IS NOT NEW WATER!

The new order of things needs to have our government simply stop trying to fix things for us and instead, treat us like the innovative, entrepreneurial and self reliant Americans that we are. We don’t need a nanny to take care of us! We The People are partly to blame, as we lift our politicians up and vote in more and more bills that are aimed to help us, but instead only grows the bureaucracy that continues to impose more restrictions on business.

Small Cistern installed along foundation walls.

The easiest way to bring new water to a thirsty land, such as Southern California, is to conserve and use what we have. We must first understand that we are NOT experiencing lower than normal rainfall, and we have never been in a drought! The so called drought should more appropriately be called a dearth. Yes, we have a shortage of water, but if  we look at the average rainfall in last several decades, you’ll see this is just a normal rainfall trend. The current shortage comes from over demand, waste and more people now depending on the same water. It’s similar to how the Federal Government is looking at the current economy – not enough money? Here, let’s print some…but that’s for another blog!

The New Water will come from sources we have already, and learning how to manage it. If we do not change behaviors and put more thought into the reuse and the recycling of water, throwing more our way will not solve the problem. People will continue to move to the Southwest and demand more water. Development cannot continue to think inside the same box and expect the government to supply us with more and more water without any regard to conservation – this is NOT SUSTAINABLE!

Capturing rainwater reduces top soil loss.

To exacerbate the problem, the existing aquifers are not being replenished. The increased amount of hardscape and pervious materials being laid down by development projects are increasingly adding to this situation exponentially. The rainfall no longer soaks into the ground, and is allowed to run-off, which causes other problems in the way of flooding and polluting waterways, eventually altering ocean habitats. Capturing this rainfall through underground tanks, roof collection systems and pervious paving materials would go a long way in restoring dwindling underground water reservoirs, protecting watersheds and restoring ecosystems. Colorado, which for generations, would not allow the capturing of rainfall and runoff, is now seeing the wisdom of rainwater harvesting.

The new order of things needs to have government simply get out of the way, encourage and inspire self governance. Reduction in government, however, will cost us…cost us our apathy, cost us our reliance and cost us our time. Will we understand the importance and make it all worth it? I suppose we will see if we can be responsible enough to handle it. I believe we can, and the search for New Water will come easy.

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