Your Call Water Series – Feedback

waterfall into pond

Subject: Your Call Water Series - Feedback

This is in response to: “Your Call Water Series” [webcitation] radio program on KALW, 91.7 in San Francisco.

I’ve listened a few of your programs on water. There have been mentions about learning from other communities and countries. Most of the focus seems to be on “big solutions,” but water cycles happen at global, regional, and local levels. We need solutions that address the problems at all these different levels.

Of course, there is a need for large water projects, to move water to large cities. But the large projects will not solve the water problem if the “small water cycles” are not addressed. Those cycles need to be addressed at more local levels. For example, water-retention landscaping methods can revitalize areas where the water and land have been abused.

Ground water depletion is talked about as if groundwater is a limited resource. In some ways it is, but it’s not the sort of resource one can hoard. “Mainstream” water management attempts to limit reservoir evaporation and seepage into the ground as if those things were bad. That is backward. Water needs to evaporate, so it can return as rain. Water needs to seep into the ground so that it can feed life and be purified by life and the ground. In contrast, water retention landscaping techniques use small reservoirs in order to slow down water runoff, so that water has time to seep into the ground.

From what I’ve heard about the California Ground Water Law, the focus is on limiting groundwater use, i.e. limiting the amount of water being removed. Words like “sustainable” are used, but there is almost nothing said about practices that get more water back into the ground. Not only are we taking out water faster than it is going back in, we are prioritizing practices designed to prevent water from going back into the ground. By focusing only on limiting water extraction, only half the problem is being addressed.

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