Every drop counts

12/13/2011, Letters to the Editor, Times-Call

How can I conserve water? My answer may surprise you.

Recently, a city of Longmont water board member commented that he has a fiduciary responsibility to sell Longmont’s surplus water. Currently, Longmont leases out 600 acre-feet of water per year to big oil for fracking and drilling.

Oil fracking and drilling within our community will swell to consume thousands of acre-feet of clear water per year. Simultaneously, Longmont is encouraging its residents to reduce their use of treated water by 3,500 acre-feet per year.

So, if I have a leaky faucet, I have two choices:

1. I can repair the faucet to reduce my consumption.

This will increase Longmont’s surplus water. The surplus water from my leak will be sold for fracking. The water will be mixed with toxic chemicals to produce fracking fluid. The fracking fluid will be injected miles under the ground into the Niobrara tight sand formations. Toxic water spurts back from the well and needs to be quarantined. It is trucked hundreds of miles to disposal sites to be forced into two-mile-deep isolation wells. The mountain stream water that Longmont sold to the drilling company is irrevocably removed from the hydrological system (assuming that everything goes well). It will never again run off the surface. It will never again soak down or evaporate up into the water cycle.

2. I can let the faucet continue to drip. In this case my leaked water will soak down into the soil or evaporate into the atmosphere or drain to the treatment system. It is conserved within our natural environment.

So, what is the best way for me to conserve the water that is leaking out of my faucet?

Maybe I should just let it drip. Every drop counts.

JOE BASSMAN

Longmont