Bogardus | Indy Week

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Re: “Lawn lovers, local officials ignore drought

The many political, social, and economic problems surrounding the drought in NC MUST be addressed for the triangle area to remain above the threshold water level (aka. no water). There are good ways and bad ways to go about this. One bad way is to ask people to voluntarily restrict their water consumption. This won't work. Most of the residents of Chapel Hill, Durham, and Hillborough didn't go to Warren Wilson. Many of them live in subdivisions in which life is dull and lawns are symbols of social stratification. One good way to set mandatory limits on water use, either using economic pressure or legal means. As mentioned in the article, charging incrementally more per gallon as water use increases provides a monetary incentive to cut back, and while the municipalities will want to use this money to expand, the better long run investment is a conservation program. The delay of restriction setting due to decreased cash flow in water municipalities is not an issue I have not run across before. Delayed declaration of different stages of drought will only lead to faster consumption. Is it better to be able to take a nice, long, hot shower for a week and then be left in the cold or be able to keep clean as well as have drinking water for a year, by which time the drought may have run its course? Meekers' sentiments as expressed in the article indicate those of many citizens across the triangle: the desire to increase supply to meet demand, disbelief that Durham didn't cut back on water use when politely asked. Like oil, water is a limited, but much more essential, resource. Droughts can last 1 or 10 years, and this unpredictable nature means that the triangle should take action before, like Katrina, we are forced to look to the Federal government for aid.

Posted by Bogardus on 10/30/2007 at 3:52 PM

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