Thursday, October 3, 2013
Clean Water Makes Cleaner Food
On KAJO’s Tuesday talk show this week, one of the Councilors present replied to my proposal to change our water rates to promote irrigation that it is a shame that children in Africa don’t have access to clean water, while we are using it to water our yards.
This reminds me of what we were told as children: “Eat your dinner; there are starving people in China.” A smart child would say, “Then send it to China.” An American eating dinner couldn’t fill a Chinese stomach. We can’t send any clean water that we don’t use to children in Africa. The problem in Africa is a lack of water-cleaning equipment, such as the new “flash” distiller that the same Councilor was talking about a few minutes before, which the Navy is using to provide ship-board water. He said that it can clean seawater faster than it can be pumped overboard.
I get the same kind of response from Greens on Linked In: Look at all the fresh water shortages around the world! We have to save it!
All fresh and clean water shortages are local. Those with a lot of fresh, clean water cannot send it to those who don’t have enough and are far away. Los Angeles has built giant pipelines to bring water to their overgrown city, but I don’t think you want to sell water to LA.
We can, however, send it on the wind over the Cascades to the Klamath Basin, by using it for irrigation and letting it blow over the hill to them, while first making rain in Josephine and Jackson Counties.
Still, some think that cleaned water is wasted if one throws it on plants. The FDA and Department of Agriculture might differ. There have been e-coli outbreaks caused by irrigating with dirty water. The Grants Pass Water Quality Monitoring report for 2003-2005 prepared by Rogue Valley Council of Governments showed high E. coli levels for all streams except Jones Creek and the Rogue River and moderate levels in the Rogue. By using city water on the food we grow, we avoid E. coli contamination. This is also safer water to use in a mister or sprinkler for children to play in. The actual cleaning of our water costs very little, but cleaned water is not wasted by using it for irrigation or cooling and cleaning our air.
If you want to help children in Africa, donate to a charity that builds water plants there. We have poor children in Grants Pass that are growing up without green yards or growing their own food. Poor families are paying more than they should for household water as well, subsidizing single seniors with much more money. The City can give a discount to seniors who are using food stamps; the rest can pay their fair share for our water plant.
Gardening is easy, if you do it naturally.