The election is near. So, town officials are saying we have more water than in years past. They tell us, on the one hand, we have nothing to fear. There is plenty of water for now and the future. Then, on the other hand, we are told we must carefully conserve and live with imposed water restrictions.
Accordingly, residents have willingly conserved water and have abided by the restrictions, knowing we live in the high desert and are in the middle of a drought, but we feel betrayed each time our Town Council approves more housing to please special interest groups and ignores the consequent long-term drain on our water supply.
Until a new source of water is available, we have an ongoing water issue. It must be addressed not only by water conservation, but by decisions of our elected officials. As long as we cannot water plants, use a hose to clean up around our homes, wash cars or feel free to use water as needed inside our homes, new water connections must be limited. We must face the fact: We have a water shortage.
Town Council approval of development parcels with rezoning for increased density and the resulting new demands on the water supply is certainly no reward for conservation efforts of dutiful residents. It tells me they do not understand the water issue. Since water sources like Blue Ridge appear to be many years away, we cannot encourage growth based on a water supply that does not now exist and may never exist.
Living in the Southwest, we must always be careful with water use. Residents are willing to do this as long as elected officials understand the real water situation and vote accordingly. Since our mayor and some councilpersons seem unwilling to adjust thinking or policies to reflect the real water/drought situation in our town, it is time for new leadership.
As they approve one development after another, current residents worry and wonder what the future holds in quality of life and property values. The current mindset will prevail until a new mayor and council are elected who are willing to listen to the people, take a fresh look at old problems and adjust to changing situations. Therefore, I intend to vote for Bob Edwards and Ed Blair, a vote for much needed change.
Carolyn Baltz, Payson