Mark Twain said, "Liquor is for drinkin', water is for fightin'."
Experts in Middle Eastern affairs are predicting that the next war in the Middle East will be over water. The United Nations is aware that water is the most critical resource on the planet, and that the day is coming when one would not trade a drop of water for a barrel of oil.
The July issue of Scientific American says the Southwest is facing a very dry future and very gloomy prospects, unless states and individual communities take responsibility for better water management. The article states that the population of the Southwest is projected to rise 40 percent over the next 25 years, an increase that could be supported, but with only proper conservation measures.
Currently, the Southwest consumes 1,630 gallons (of water) a day per capita, whereas Israel consumes 260.
The article emphasizes the importance of better water management and the development of more efficient practices and technologies, such as water-recycling equipment.
As a community, we cannot afford to be heedless of what seem to be the true facts about the water situation in the Southwest. Water is rapidly becoming a critical situation in Payson. I am saddened that instead of looking at the reality of this situation so that we may all cooperate to educate ourselves and plan our way out of this situation, it is being characterized as a conflict between two groups: those who want to promote growth at all costs, and those who want to stifle it completely.
I believe that any responsible citizen, when given accurate facts about the situation, would choose to act responsibly and would want elected representatives to present him or her with accurate facts so that an understanding of the true situation can be known and wise decisions made to husband our resources, to become good stewards of the financial and material resources of our community.
There seems to be a current myth that uncontrolled growth is always an unmitigated good. That somehow, if we just grow enough, we can grow ourselves out of this dilemma. That if there is just more business, a larger population base, that we will be able to raise more taxes and with more money, we can then solve the problem. This is a highly illogical belief.
I do not believe the concerned citizens of this community are opposed to all growth. Growth is inevitable, but to allow it to occur willy nilly hoping to solve the problem of the burdens on the infrastructure and the water supply at some later date is to play Scarlet O'Hara while Tara burns to the ground.
Janice F. Lurie, Payson