Water…What’s it worth to you…

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

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Last night I attended a special Flagstaff City Council Meeting. About 800 of us did. They were going to hear public comments then vote on using reclaimed water to make snow at the local ski place (which is how the contract reads now) or change the contract  and use potable water instead.

During the 3 hours of listening to Council questions and public input, I was struck by how divisive this issue really is.  It seems that there are two very polarized factions.

One group sees the use of water to make snow a boon for Flagstaff because it will bring tourist dollars to our town. (Not to mention millions to the ski lodge owner!) The other group feels using water, specifically potable water, is a misuse of a natural resource and is a very bad idea long term for the continuity of our town. I am in the group that feels that water is sacred.

What I would have like to have seen is a discussion about alternative snow play areas being developed with what little natural snow we might get, as well as the possibility that the ski area could use rain catchment for snow making.

I would have like to have seen a more extensive discussion over the past few years, about what alternatives to skiing this town could come up with to lure tourist dollars.  I would have liked a discussion about local sustainability that doesn’t require so many tourist dollars.  But this town isn’t ready for that yet.  There are so many that believe tourism will be around for a long time.  I don’t think so.

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One Comment on “Water…What’s it worth to you…”

  1. Michelle says:

    I agree that larger issues seem to be the key to this discussion – but you’re right, most people are not ready to think like that. Did you bring up any of those issues? I sure hope people start the sustainability discussion before too long. There is only so much fresh water to go around, especially in AZ.

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