Our View Of Water – Still Too Narrow

A repeating theme in my posts is that man continues to have too narrow a view on water. We react to crises and then jump to have government fix, or prevent future and similar problems. The problem is that man still refuses to see into the future, and focuses myopically on putting band aids on problems that are isolated and small when compared to the total picture.

Again, I cite the chicken-little, running in circles approach of local leadership, albeit well-intended, that is indicative of a nationwide problem. Recently it was discovered that a now defunct dry cleaners has left quite a bit of solvent in the earth below where it was located. It presents a risk of contaminating our groundwater, and people are concerned.

But here are my questions. Why would anyone want more federal government oversight? The EPA is responsible for this happening in the first place. Where were the Clean Water Act, OSHA and all the government protectors for the 10-years this was going on? Where was the Sierra Club? and other activists?

My beef? We only show up when there is a problem,

Do you really think the government can protect our water? Consider this, then. Memphis covers 9.033 billion square feet. In that area, there are thousands of acres of grass, pavement, landfills, factories, and citizens littering every imaginable waste that you can think of. Every time it rains, hundreds of millions of gallons of pollutants wash into our soil, eventually getting into our water supplies.

So go ahead, I am listening. Tell me a feasible way of controlling all this pollution. Need more time?

So what am I saying? I am saying that as man lives and thrives it is a natural outcome that he will continue in increasing amounts, to pollute his water. It is inevitable and unstoppable. Going from factory-to-factory identifying potential sources of pollution may make us feel better; like we are making a difference, but the reality is that our lack of scientific understanding is leading us down a dangerous path of not having the resources to provide clean water for ourselves.

Until we accept that the quality difference between our wastewater and our clean water is growing less and less, we will be unprepared for the water crisis that is coming. The real water crisis is that our water filtration plants are not adequate to treat future source-water quality.