Letter to the Editor: More serious threat is excessive water use

Answers to these and other questions will aid in understanding improved water management, says writer Dave Milton.

Re: Don Lee’s letter, et al, to the Gazette, Oct. 1, and subsequently.

I stand corrected on the number of emissions during each 24-hour cycle and am grateful for the correction; not of willful misinformation as stated but, rather, of making an error.

Total emission time of less than 45 seconds/day is a miniscule fraction of a 24-hour period, while that total emission time per day divided by the number of emissions per day means a pulse time of 7/1000 of a second. A human blink of the eye, by comparison, lasts between 0.1 and 0.4 of a second.

Despite our various positions regarding water meter installation, astute readers will agree that these tiny amounts, on their own, are incapable of wreaking havoc on the environment; far more harmful are all of the other emissions being carefully avoided in this discussion.

A far more serious threat to our environment is the excessive use of water in our community. We brought it on ourselves.

No one is being “punished” (Elaine Lea) and our “world view” (Tom Tripp) is woefully blinkered. Paying for what we use is the norm—not a punishment—right across the spectrum of consumer goods, while our view of the world would be broadened, perhaps, by looking upstream and asking what having a mountain-top resort at the headwaters of Kettle River means, if anything, to the health of the river?

Do watering a golf course, snow making, filling swimming pools and hot tubs, washing driveways and vehicles, salting roadways, flushing toilets, accommodating thousands of people—and feeding them all—have deleterious effects on the river?

What is the effect of cattle in the woods along the river? What it the effect of clearcutting in the watershed? What are the effects of watering livestock in the river? Who are the people altering the riparian zones and what are those effects?

Answers to these and other questions will aid in understanding improved water management. These are some reasons why water is not a right.

And find out why we are in “Kootenay Boundary” rather than “Columbia Basin.”

Ms. Butler’s submission that the installers are not qualified raises the spectre of demanding of the guy who cuts your grass proof of his diploma of agriculture; of demanding of the guy who washes your windows proof of being a certified glazier; of the person who pumps gas into your car proof of being a journeyman mechanic; of the guy who slings burgers proof of being a Cordon Bleu chef. Ad nauseum. And suggesting that home insurances could be invalid is also a spurious move.

There is an irony in exhorting readers to dump the current council in favour of those who resent metering at the time (same edition of the Gazette)—our team brought home the accolades of the UBCM for its Open for Business initiative. I would dare suggest that all of the good works this council is working on—and coupled with the efforts of, say, the Chamber of Commerce and its award, Vital Signs, BETHS, Whispers of Hope and Habitat for Humanity, Boundary District Arts Council, the food co-op and farmers’ market and all others contributing to making this a very pleasant place in which to live—is a community effort worthy of continued public support and I have no doubts as to where my votes will be cast at election time.

Dave Milton, Grand Forks

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