But even without my extreme sense of right and wrong and natural resources, I think the majority of people if educated would be appaled at Oklahoma City's water board and their stance on water usage.
|RIP Canton Lake. Started by the drought. Finished by the citizens of Oklahoma City.|
The citizens of Oklahoma City should be ashamed. While the citizens may not be directly responsible for the city council's decision to drain water out of Canton Lake, they ARE responsible for the need.
Brent read a very apt quote. "Just because the bully poured all of his water out on the sidewalk doesn't mean the little guy should have to hand over his."
But that is exactly what Oklahoma City has done. And continues to do. The state of Oklahoma is in the second highest level of drought on record. And Oklahoma City, in the face of a warning from the state's senior climatologist that this spring has no better hope than last for rain, still fails to act responsibly. They finally planned water rationing, in the form of odd even watering restrictions.
Because so many people water in January.
Guess what big plans they have to do if we don't get rain?
Drain an additional 20000 acre feet of water out of Lake Canton again. Because if we don't get rain, surely Canton will. Never mind that northwest Oklahoma has had only a fraction of the rain OKC has seen. Never mind that Canton is in an area of the state that is KNOWN to get significantly less rainfall.
Obviously the leaders of OKC are too ignorant or selfish to plan more aggressively or *gasp* make the greater OKC citizens slightly less comfortable with their lifestyles.
Canton has been devastated and robbed of it's economy to replace the water that the residents of the OKC area foolishly wasted.
But the good people of Edmond had beautiful yards!
The only source of walleye fish for the state (all Oklahoma lakes are stocked with walleye from Canton) has been drained.
|Photo credit: Gary McManus, Oklahoma's Leading Climatologist; He shot both of these photos on Feb 6, 2013. The top is Canton lake. The bottom is Oklahoma City.|
Yet nearly every day that I drove to work last summer, I saw water running down the sidewalks because a careless person failed to make sure their sprinklers weren't spraying the concrete.
Here's what is even worse: I don't think that most citizens of OKC realize how desperate the water situation is. And they are too shortsighted to ever stop and think where their water comes from.
So, here's the rally cry I have for all citizens, whether you live in Oklahoma City, the surrounding area, the state of Oklahoma, whatever: Start your own personal watering ration. I know most of us consider water rationing a summer time activity when we are watering our yard, but there are things you can do every single day to be a better custodian of our natural resources.
1. Place large bowls in the sink when you wash dishes by hand. Carry that water out this water your containers or flower beds.
2..TURN OFF THE WATER WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH!
3. Make your shower short and efficient. We have all sacrificed long hot showers in our house for improved water stewardship. I have even cut down my daily soaks in a deep tub of hot water to one bath per week.
And those are all super simple solutions. Want to really stretch your water conserving muscles? Well, as a former queen of a real live castle, I know all about restricting water waste!
Put small bowls in each bathroom sink. Once the bowl is full, dump the bowl in a bucket placed handily on the floor by the counter. Carry said bucket outside when it gets 3/4 full. Pour this water out on your flowers, containers, bushes, trees, whatever.
If you really want to go all super power, then simply do this:
That would be a sump pump.
And this would be a car battery...
Combine these two products, attach them to a garden hose, then run the hose through the house to the outside to drain your bath onto that newly planted tree you fear is in danger of dying!
Granted, I don't plan on doing anything this drastic...Now that I have a ridiculously expensive aerobic septic system, any water that runs down my tub is put back on the yard.
But I just felt I should give you all options I knew of.
All kidding aside, I do feel rather strongly about this. Water is a NONRENEWABLE resource. While I do NOT believe the planet will run out of water (we live in a closed atmosphere) I do believe that climates of specific areas can change over time. And if this area remains in the drought we've faced the last three years, our water situation could become quite scary. And expensive.
As surely as the national debt is every one's concern, though we may have little control over it, water usage is CERTAINLY every one's concern. And it is something every. single. person. can contribute to.
Think about it.
P.S. Here is a quote from Gary's facebook status after meeting with OKC's city council:
BTW, spoke about drought to the OKC city council today. Not only did they say they have plenty of water left in their lakes (then why take canton down), but they said they anticipate being able to take another 30,000 acre-feet from Canton next year, the amount of time they think it will take to accumulate that much water again.
They are at least preparing some tougher water restrictions, and one councilman was talking about making them permanent.
Something is better than nothing I guess.