…and not a drop to drink.”
Update at bottom of post
I live in a rural area of the Capital Region. Residents are not serviced with water here, you have to figure it out for yourself. I am also a renter, or lessee, thus, not in a position to finance a proper deep well into the aquifer and the filteration system to ensure potable water. My abode is a fairly rustic cabin with a couple of cisterns amounting to 2200 gallons. About once every 5 weeks, I pay a guy $140* to come with his tanker truck to fill our needs. We (my partner and I) have to help run the three fire hoses to reach our tanks. Rain or shine. Grey water is utilised where appropriate. Conservation is fairly strict.
This kind of lifestyle gives a person a keen appreciation for potable water and how necessary it is to sustaining life. Not just human life, but flora and fauna as well. This winter in BC started out with two bad indicators for our future. Drought and cold at the same time. Personally, this battered us as our pipes froze up for a week early on, and again for 10 days in January. That was hard. Outside my window though, the Western Red Cedars died back quite a lot, the needles turning that copper colour that denotes stress. I don’t want to imagine my island without the iconic Red Cedar or the higher elevation Yellow Cedar, so prized for it’s ease of carving. They are dying slowly though and one day will live only in stories and artifacts. Battered by pine beetle mortality, the interior Taiga forest is a tinderbox. El Ninio is forecast for this coming spring/summer.
Meanwhile, my Government, the BC Liberals under Christy Clark, have been allowing Nestle, a foreign Corporation, free access to water from the Hope water supply to steal millions of dollars worth of our precious and finite resource. After this information came out, the government amended that agreement to charge a pissant, nominal fee.
Fracking for LNG is the only idea this government has for BC, other than Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan, run of river Hydro-electric and flooding the Peace River Valley to power the above projects. Fracking is devastating to fresh water supplies. So is running pipelines through headwaters, over rivers and then onto tidewater.
The American Military has properly pinpointed fresh water as the probable source of war in the future. A litre of tapwater costs about $1.99 at the store, more expensive than gasoline or coca cola. Water is more valuable than LNG. bitumen, or dubious P3 Hydro electric projects yet we are literally pissing it away. The American west and Australia are currently experiencing severe drought, both heavily into fracking. Tug of War battles are erupting between stakeholders, large cities like Vegas, with all of the ostentious use of water as mirage in the desert, agriculture running the full range of corporate agribiz growing alfalfa to ship to China, to breadbasket of America, to boutique wineries and cutting edge organics. Everyone needs water.
If I were planning long term policy, I would be safeguarding this resource for the sovereign good of the people. Water needs to be more than a human right, but an planetary right, in that the planet needs to have rights, instead of corporate personhood.
I expect my government will punish the ratepayers directly, so that we can continue to subsidize industrial use. Rural areas will continue to bear the burden of conservation, while urban and industrial use flourishes in a completely unrestrained orgy of cognitive dissonance.
If you are tempted to powerwash your driveway, or run cold, clean, precious water down the drain while you brush your teeth, remember how precious this resource is.*When we moved in two years ago, the price was $100. 40 % rise in two years. They also used to give the 10th load free. Gone.