Water crisis comes to head | VailDaily.com

Water crisis comes to head

Don Rogers

Seems last week’s rearranging of days people from Wolcott to Vail could water lawns has not achieved the goal of reducing water use by 30 percent.

So much for trusting the public to make sound decisions in the interests of their community.

Just has happened in Denver earlier this summer when restrictions were placed on watering, residents here drowned their lawns during their allotted evenings of watering.

Limiting the times of watering, predictably, had the wrong effect on the amount of water pouring through pipes and hoses.

Now what?

The powers that be at the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District and the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority will meet at noon at 846 Forest Road in Vail to figure out what to do next.

For starters, seeing that restricting times for watering has little to do with actual conservation of water, they might look upon brown lawns as the next beautiful thing. Lawns are a luxury the valley can do without right now. It might well be time to end the watering entirely, if the populace lacks the discipline to do the right thing on its own.

The golf courses, those with senior water rights, that is, will have an increasing PR problem as they wrestle with pressure to cut back their watering for the community’s sake and protecting their investments and flow of golfers.

Residents, should they begin to exhibit some rationality about our situation, should also understand that the golf courses, as part of the lifeblood that drives the economy up here, are more important than house lawns to all of us.

Garden centers, nurseries, construction operations that rely on water likewise deserve some consideration. And so do the lodges, restaurants and other “guest” services.

By extension these businesses provide such quality of life enhancements as, well – jobs. This fact must be understood and accepted as somewhat more crucial than adhering to suburban neighborhood values with roots in wetter climes.

An irony in winter will be that for the ski hills to use their snowmaking machines, they must provide the minimum state mandated stream flow as stipulated in their permit. Vail Resorts has invested millions in water storage to prepare for this. Still, if it’s all the same, we’ll keep praying for powder days that come early and often, much like voting in Chicago. D.R.

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