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Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day: Water.

This is Garrison Lake, a freshwater lake fed by numerous streams of pristine beauty smack in the middle of Port Orford, between main street and the Ocean.  To the South, is Hubbard Creek,  our main water source.  To the North,  the Elk River sports some of the best fishing in the West.

It rains six-eight months here.
We are water-logged most of the time.

But this town has a  dirty little secret.

Our municipal water, after it's processed and stored, is lost by 50% before it reaches its residents.  Our delivery system is ancient, leaky, broken.  Our pipes need repairing before the town can grow and prosper.  We have had this problem for a long time.

To replace this infrastructure the town needs to float bonds or tax its one thousand inhabitants, most of whom are part timers, vacationers. Nobody wants to take on a debt of fourteen million dollars to repair the water system. Everyone wants an easy,  inexpensive solution. 

We have water. We just can't deliver it!

There are many towns like ours up and down the coast, in remote areas, in places that once were bustling with fisheries or saw mills.  Many of these towns no longer have fisheries or saw mills.  Without jobs and commerce, these towns have dried out.  Their tax base cannot take on major changes. Now, most of them are havens for retirees looking for peace and natural beauty. Retirees, usually on fixed income, do not vote for bonds or taxes.

Clean, potable water is the first thing a town needs to deliver.
When this need is neglected, we can't survive.

For discussions and articles on water and other environmental issues visit:
Island Press.org
This was written for Blog Action Day October 15, 2010.

35 comments:

Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla) said...

So fascinating to see the different water problems in different places. Here we have a starting lack of it - as well as a creaking delivery system.

Brian Miller said...

interesting...wesp to have it and not be able to deliver it effectively...it is a shame...and i really dont know an answer unless the state steps in...

Eva Gallant said...

Here in my town, I think our water is gross. In the spring I hate showering in it because it smells like swampwater. We drink bottled water. I do use our water for cooking, and for mixing with powdered drink mixes (except in the spring), but I won't drink it straight from the tap.

Dawn said...

This is interesting...and of course sad.
There is nothing worse than having what you need right in front of you- but not being able to attain it.
Frustrating!

Diana said...

water....a basic, and such issues surrounding it. Here we're fighting hydrofracking, an extremly toxic method of mining natural gas. Well contamination (so many of us have well water throughout the state) is a serious issue.

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tabor said...

We are like this everywhere. We want the best but are not willing to pay for it. Even if you only live their part-time you still should help with a reasonable tax. Water is going to be a VERY important commodity in just a few decades.

cheshire wife said...

We have exactly the same problem here in the UK. Ancient pipes lose more water than thay store.

Monkey Man said...

That's a tough scenario. 50% is an awful lot.

Robyn said...

We have an excellent delivery system, but lack water.

This is another great thought provoking post Rosaria.

Thank you
x Robyn

becky at abbeystyle said...

Oh, it's the elephant in the room...something we never want to talk about because it's too big...infrastructure

Woman in a Window said...

Whoa! Sobering. What are the solutions?

xo
erin

Arkansas Patti said...

Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon problem. Perhaps when we turn on the tap and nothing comes out, we will realize what is more important.
The need for water will soon trump the need for oil. Don't have an answer.

Maggie May said...

This sounds such a familiar problem that we have in our cities in the UK, too.
Burst pipes make our water very expensive and is such a waste. We need major alterations and repairs that no one can afford.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Susan Erickson said...

Our old town has the same problem....Water is our most valuable resource...time to get on these things before total collapse...it does happen...then what?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very interesting. You have done well to highlight this issue.

Eleonora said...

One of the best "protest" posts I've read today.

That's taking Action.
Grazie

Amanda said...

incredible, rosaria, to learn of this. as erin said in her comment - what are the solutions being suggested to repair the delivery system?

Hilary said...

Everyone knows and bemoans the problem but nobody wants to be a part of the solution. That's a shame. There has to be some resolve. You can't do without water.

Rob-bear said...

In Canada, we have a national program for funding infrastructure development (or, perhaps, redevelopment).

Fortunately, we have survived the economic recession in better shape than most, primarily because of effective financial regulations.

And while we are being dragged down by our intervention in Afghanistan, I don't think it's as costly as the war in Iraq.

My point is that there is money to fix your water problem, but it is being spent on other things.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I have so much to say about water, I can't even begin!

We have been in a drought, though it has eased up and we are no longer in D4 status. I can tell when our rain is down by the creek in front of our log house. During the worst of the drought, it was sick and sad . . . much better now.

potsoc said...

As Rob-bear said Canada and the provinces have infrastructures programs that help maintain our water system but older cities such as Montreal, Québec and Toronto, to name but a few still have a difficult time with antiquated water main systems that are fragile and burst when deep freeze comes in severe winter conditions; and here also Afghanistan drains (no pun intended) money better spent otherwise.

Villa-loredana said...

Hello dear, I haven't bee for a long, so I read and enyoed a lot your post, as I'm corious and like to read all about the place all over the world. A lot of kindest regards. Loredana.

Janet Lee said...

Actually, NOT putting in a bunch of expensive infrastructure is serving Philadelphia well...instead of separating all the water and forcing it underground, having it get polluted with run-off, and then having to filter it...people in the field are trying to incorporate more storm-water "parks" and bioswales to naturally filter and soak up the water. It's suppose to work a lot better...as long as someone is out there to design something that can cover the entire community!

Ann Best said...

So many problems to deal with, wherever we live! Water is so crucial. I'm grateful every day for it.
Ann

lakeviewer said...

Janet's comment about Philadelphia's decision to put in bioswales to filter water run-offs is a great idea to separate and protect municipal water. More of these ought to be encouraged.
Thanks, Janet.

GutsyWriter said...

I am glad to see you participated in the water blog action. I am surprised to hear of a 50% loss in water. Never thought of that aspect. When we lived in Belize. we relied on rain for our water supply. I never thought I could worry about rain. A new, more down to earth problem than most of us have in the U.S. today.

Gaston Studio said...

So sorry to hear about your small town having such terrible water problems... and being so small, it's going to have to really make the right choices.

Man of Roma said...

A good post for blog action day. E' triste questa questione dell'acqua. E il fatto che queste cittadine sulla costa abbiano di questi problemi è strano, essendo piccole, in uno stato come l’Oregon, che è giovane. Immagino che per crisi economica tu intenda l’ultima, quella che ci ha colpito tutti. O questo spopolamento è avvenuto prima?

Ciao dall’Italia, Rosaria!

Wine and Words said...

I imagine all the land is lush for all the leaking. I hate our water. It smells like chlorine when I bathe, and tastes like dirt. I plug my nose and quickly wash. I drink filtered water. *sigh*

HalfCrazy said...

Hey there!

It rains for that long in there? Well I am a huge fan of rainy days - just not the little particles that enter in my footwear when one goes out to say, get a drink or shop for groceries.

I subscribe to National Geographic and they explained there with a very helpful diagram about how much water is lost due to ancient pipes and plumbing that requires maintenance and major overhauls. It's actually like that around the world. A lot of people don't even have clean water but we just waste them in our countries.

A Cuban In London said...

It's a huge problem that needs direct government intervention. Why bail banks out when people need something as basic as water? It beggars belief.

Greetings from London.

Marguerite said...

Another good reason to move to Lafayette!:) We have a great water supply and system that comes from the Chicot Aquafier, a natural underground lake that supplies 15 counties.

Zeusiswatching said...

I was a hobby farmer in Virginia during a long drought. It made me appreciate every drop of rain that falls from the sky.

RNSANE said...

It is such a shame...you have good water and can't access it. Other places have lousy water and it flows freely. So much money is wasted on other things. There has to be a solution.