Hard Up Against Priorities

So here we are, hard up against our priorities in southern Oregon.  Like much of the western United States, we're coping with severe drought.  The snow base didn't rebuild last year after a shortfall the previous year.  The city was and is in danger of using too much water and running out.  

City council took steps.  They posted signs urging all of us to use water wisely and conserve.  Information fliers with tips for yard and plant care and intelligent water use were created, published and disseminated.  While water rationing wasn't announced, a tiered system for charging customers for their water use was created.  The more you use, the more you pay, which, like many things in America, rewards the wealthiest.  You can have and use water, if you can afford to pay for it....  If you can't pay, you must limit your use or do without.

Driving around town, the dichotomy is very evident.  Wealthier neighborhoods and home owner associations have lovely green lawns and beautifully flowering, green plants.  Poorer folks, or those with a social conscience, don't.  

What's also evident is who and where else the priorities lie.  The city and the university grounds are well watered, so much so that they're sodden in some places.  City and university grounds are also watered at the hottest time of day, making you pause to ask, 'What the what?'  It becomes a classic example of do as I say, not as I do.  Worse, however, are the football fields.  They've all been watered and maintained, which is galling to learn.  The education system is increasing class sizes while scrambling to save money, with teachers buying supplies for their classrooms, and here is money being spent to water the sports fields.

Yes, the priorities here are very easy to see.

Comments 2

 
Ken Hartke on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 20:46

We must preserve the football fields at all costs...Golf courses, too. The weather patterns are so mixed up. Here in NM we have been in a severe drought for the past few years. They had even/odd day watering schedules and no watering in the hot part of the day. Unlike Oregon, we are used to the color brown. Albuquerque residents tightened up on water usage and now use less than they did 30 years ago. Usage dropped so low that the water company raised rates. This year we are having one of our wettest years on record while the west coast is still in severe drought. I suspect that local water usage will start to go back up if folks think the drought has ended but water rates probably won't go back down.

We must preserve the football fields at all costs...Golf courses, too. The weather patterns are so mixed up. Here in NM we have been in a severe drought for the past few years. They had even/odd day watering schedules and no watering in the hot part of the day. Unlike Oregon, we are used to the color brown. Albuquerque residents tightened up on water usage and now use less than they did 30 years ago. Usage dropped so low that the water company raised rates. This year we are having one of our wettest years on record while the west coast is still in severe drought. I suspect that local water usage will start to go back up if folks think the drought has ended but water rates probably won't go back down.
Michael W Seidel on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 18:08

Well said, Ken. On the rates, we ended up with the same situation. "Save, save, save," they cried. We did and they said, "Okay, we need to raise rates because you saved too much." There's no winning. Stay dry, stay cool, you do what you can to cope and move on. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers, Michael

Well said, Ken. On the rates, we ended up with the same situation. "Save, save, save," they cried. We did and they said, "Okay, we need to raise rates because you saved too much." There's no winning. Stay dry, stay cool, you do what you can to cope and move on. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers, Michael
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