12/27/07 — Taken for granted: Conserve water now, or it might not be there later

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Taken for granted: Conserve water now, or it might not be there later

It is hard to notice any difference in the way Wayne County uses water — even though the statistics point to less water consumption.

The car washes are still busy — and until recently — sprinklers did not seem to be dry.

That is the consequence of the world we live in today. It is hard for any of us to imagine a real shortage — a real water crisis.

After all, we just turn on the tap and there it is — water.

But the news out of Raleigh and the recent troubles in other states should be a warning that this is one potential crisis worth working hard to prevent.

Experts are already predicting major trouble again next year with water levels. There just hasn’t been enough moisture this fall or winter to prepare the area for drier months later.

So, what seems like a minor inconvenience now could be a major concern soon — if we don’t pay attention now.

Water conservation must be a priority — from simple steps like cutting personal consumption to major initiatives like better management of industrial and commercial water use.

Boosting the water supply is everyone’s concern and responsibility.

And all it really takes is the realization that this is not some “sky is falling” possibility, but a real warning of potential problems to come if we do not take action now.

Modern conveniences seem like givens these days. We don’t think about where our resources come from. We don’t want to understand where they come from. We just expect them to be there.

That is a dangerous philosophy leads to waste.

Water rules need to be set and adhered to — and residents need to understand the potential consequences of missing the chance to act prudently now.

Violations at any level need to be dealt with immediately and decisively.

With a little more forethought, we might be able to stop this shortage before it gets any worse.

But first we need to understand that getting water requires more than simply turning on a faucet.

Published in Editorials on December 27, 2007 10:50 AM