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Reality Checking Our Water Woes


Reality Checking Our Water Woes

Darcey O’Callaghan, Kate Fried

This week while promoting his new music service, Tidal, Jay Z made a well intended but nonetheless tone deaf statement, gushing about the beauty of supposedly “free” water service. While tap water may seem free to a rap mogul, those in Detroit who have been living without this essential service because they cannot afford to pay their water bills are singing a very different tune.


" …we must ensure that water is not removed from watersheds faster than it can be naturally replenished."

Bingo - simple sentence but one with profound implications …

That sentence is describing a “water budget” and the data and expertise exists to to do them - a number of years ago i tried to get my town to use the expertise of the USGS to do one for the aquifer they had just recently mapped - but politics got in the way …

This approach would reinforce the concept of bio-regionalism in our planning processes … but would also require that we think about all sources of “input” and “outflow” to our watersheds, and this would reveal, among other things, something i think was pointed out by Maude Barlow - that food exported from a region is a source of water outflow from that region … a goodly % of food “content” is water … Such a budget would also examine from where the water comes and to where it flows - if it comes from one watershed and flows into another …

Every region should do it’s own water budget - that is a necessary start - ya gotta know what you have before you can decide where you would like it to go and if putting it there is sustainable or not …


Your post is based on the criteria and thought processes behind INDUSTRIAL agriculture. And since you begin your comment with what “everyday people” do, you initially attempt to deflect your post away from what the article exposes–that 90% of water usage comes from INDUSTRIAL forms of farming/agriculture and/or extractive energy industries.

Vandana Shiva and experts in soil reconstitution (that means millions of peasant farmers) know how to implement NATURAL farming practices. They produce evidence and statistics that widely different from yours.


WE WE WE WE… as if YOU have a monopoly on this one uniform WE-control group.

There are alternatives in use now and always that hardly fit your “we” model.


It’s time for a reality check. Water service is not free, low prices are not to blame for the water crisis and climate change alone is not causing drought. The real culprit is a failure to align our water management policies with environmental and human needs.

The Bold part by the author is wrong. Climate Change (Global Warming) is indeed causing drought. Drought is a lack of precipitation, and the “Ridiculously Persistent High” pressure system sitting off the West Coast is to blame, since the jet stream now blows over Alaska and Canada most of the year now. All the conservation or management in the world won’t amount to squat since the snowpack in the West is only Five percent of normal. Means no runoff into lakes. We are one year from being bone dry, no matter how you “manage” water. Fracking and sucking aquifiers dry is a bad idea since it only takes 10,000 years for them to replenish naturally.

Now, it may be that Climate Change is not completely responsible for tap water restrictions. But the private auto and millions of smokestacks are indeed causing global warming.


I live in southern California and the city where I live is still handing out threats of citations for brown lawns. What a revenue maker just like that in Ferguson. In my past lives in this town, they never heard of the drought. It seems by some magical means our water comes from different sources than the rest of the state. This is from the fantastical world of conservative thought. I live in a hot bed of deluded snakes.


Human poop when correctly processed is the best fertilizer in the world. Then comes chicken crap… Have you seen the price for a bag of chicken shit. I love my chickens and there are mushrooms growing everywhere in the backyard. I have read that this is a good sign that the soil and environment are very healthy.