Re: "Impact of safe yield explored" May 2 Roundup.
To begin with, I do not favor "ex post facto" law making -- in this case, growth limits imposed upon a community after its founding. If someone wishes to start a new town with pre-established limits on population, fine, let them do it -- but how will they control the growth of adjacent communities?
For this reason, attempting to control water use by limiting growth (or, much more likely, vice-versa) is clearly doomed to failure.
Moreover, it should be borne in mind that at some point in the relatively near future -- when we decide to get off our lazy duffs -- per-capita water use will likely be reduced to 5 to 10 percent or less of the current use: this calls for waterless toilets, self-recycling clothes washers and dishwashers, not to mention self-recycling showers -- city water need no longer be fit for drinking: it can be "gray", fit only for garden, for makeup of recycling losses and, of course, for that use currently in official denial, firefighting. Drinking and cooking water will be bottled or obtained from household recycled water via reverse osmosis or similar.
Gardens will need to be restricted to food and xeriscape -- the last meaning that when living in an arid climate, garden accordingly. The corresponding measures must also be applied commercially.
Waterless toilets already exist while the basic technology for on-site household water recycling exists -- all that is necessary is for a market of sufficient size to be created so that the costs to the consumer become practical. Notwithstanding those who mindlessly hate government, the market can only be created by an overall federal mandate, together with a federally supported project to develop the necessary water technology -- with an agency created to drive it -- NWTA (Forget the Department of the Interior: no imagination or no resolve whatsoever is to be found there). This would also help to get some of our unemployed off the streets.
Incidentally, once developed, this arid-urban water technology will be in high demand from the many arid population centers overseas and the cost will come back with a sizable profit to the treasury.
My guess is that during the last two-thirds of the 21st century, water will not in any way at all be a growth-limiting factor for Payson and other small cities like it in the arid southwest. The growth of larger cities will be checked, but by reinvention rather than water or even air quality issues.
Allen N Wollscheidt, Chandler