Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue skies and water worries

Most people love spring and fall because of the more seasonable temperatures and the fact that it signals the changing of the seasons. I love spring and fall for these reasons as well, but this weekend while we were in Oklahoma, I remembered why I like the Oklahoma countryside so well. If you've never been to Oklahoma it is really quite pretty. There's nothing like driving down the highway to see wide open spaces of green dotted with varying shades of green from the trees. And all of this against the backdrop of a vivid blue sky that is often dotted with puffy white clouds. To me, this is beautiful scenery but I'm also fond of the open spaces.

I also love a cold glass of water on a hot day, but I read an article about how Oklahoma City wants to meet its water needs for the next several years and it concerns me. The city would like to buy the rights to a reservoir about a hundred miles away to supply the city and surrounding areas with water. The reason for this is that demand is expected to exceed supply within the next 20 years. The price tag for this little endeavor is around $42 million.

Apparently someone is not looking at some better ways to conserve water. I understand the need to meet the water demands for a large city, especially considering that within the next 20 years we may see more people migrating into large metropolitan areas due to the effects of Peak Oil. As those who commute to work find it more difficult to maintain their current suburban lifestyle, I am sure we will see more people either finding ways to work from home or moving closer to their places of employment. Naturally, this could put an increased strain on any city's resources.

I don't understand why the city is looking at this as the only way to supply the city with all of its water needs. The amount of rainwater runoff in a city is enormous due to the decreased amounts of green surfaces that can absorb and transfer that water back into the water tables. It would seem to me that the city should begin looking at ways to retain some of that rain water. Why not look at using some of that money to establish a city wide rain water catchment program? Offer some incentives for home owners to implement their own rain water catchment systems. If they expect there to be water shortages in the next 20 years, then how long do they think that reservoir will last? What will they do when that resource is no longer available?

Unfortunately, this just goes to show how little forward thinking there is. I'm sure this type of problem is happening all over the U.S. and as usual our leaders are looking for the quick fix and worry about the bigger problems when they happen. This course of action may be inevitable but I hope the city leaders will be looking at other alternatives to help solve this looming problem. In the meantime, I'll continue with my plans to set up our own rainwater catchment system in the future to hopefully meet most of our water needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment