As one of the world’s foremost water experts, I pride myself on being able to look into the future to head off water problems as they apply to both my industrial customers, and also to municipalities. Nowhere is my insight more evident than right here in my hometown of Memphis, TN where the TVA need for aquifer water has officials and citizens grappling like crazed customers trying to get one of the lost-leader sale items at Walmart as soon as the doors open on Black Friday.
Almost 2 years ago, in a white-paper entitled “The Great Water Grab” I foretold in coming times how EVERYBODY would try to become a water expert, and as water issues became more important, how people with absolutely no scientific education and no prior involvement in water would come together to bully their way into a lead position, to be ” THE WATER GUY”. In Memphis, what is happening is classic fanaticism taken to Monty Python episode levels.
- TVA needs 3.5 million gallons per day
- Memphis has a minimum of 700 years of water supply, and more than likely, a supply that cannot be exhausted by current and future projected use. All experts agree, the TVA use is insignificant.
- Rising crime coupled with complete failure at attracting new industry has the city bleeding citizens, talent and businesses.
- Even with the TVA consumption, water that will be taken out of the aquifer will be far less than it was 2 years ago. Under current policies, the exodus from Memphis is likely to continue, so water consumption can be expected to decrease. This also means that potential contamination risks to the aquifer will also continue to decrease.
- No man, organization or government can assure that any aquifer will exist tomorrow, let alone for future generations.
- Memphis Water is the single most powerful economic tool the city of Memphis has, and it is being completely ignored.
Let’s look at the Water Grab
City officials, County officials, emotionally charged conservationists, and other high profile individuals are working themselves into a frenzy clamoring for greater oversight, more regulation, more monitoring, and more of everything that makes Memphis look like one big disorganized cluster.
Again, this frenzy is all for naught because science clearly shows the wells being proposed by TVA do not pose a known risk to the aquifer. They don’t risk depleting or contaminating the aquifer and they don’t violate any of the rules that have been in place for many decades, even when larger water users were operating without concern. In addition, Memphis already has the best overseer that any community could ask for with Memphis Light Gas And Water under the direction of Jerry Collins. The safety net is already in place.
So what is different now? It’s simple. Water is becoming more of an interesting topic and a lot of public figures see yet a new bandwagon to jump on to. Perhaps the most ridiculous part in all of this is that most of the new players have absolutely no scientific training or past water experience.
Instead of capitalizing on Memphis water, attracting new manufacturers, providing badly needed jobs and hope for Memphis youth, leaders are instead preparing what I consider to be a parade of mental masturbation that will do nothing but bring confusion, arguments, lawsuits and countless millions of dollars to attorneys whose only interest will be making the battles draw on as long as possible.
In Memphis, the aquifer is safe. You would think that the long track record of past success would be enough. But it isn’t! Damn it, people need to feel important! People need to become water experts. I watch the city dying; I see efforts going to this nonsensical, totally fabricated apocalypse and I feel sad. When it comes to water, Memphis truly is Walmart on Black Friday.