Blessed with fresh water



While I largely agreed with Carole Rubin’s recent letter (“Gutsy decision on lawns,” May 31), I feel obligated to point out something she said that actually muddies the water, so to speak, about our water situation here on the Sunshine Coast.

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It’s absolutely true that the world taken as a whole, including the non-arid, developed world, is running out of drinkable water; like climate change in general, this is scientific fact backed by mountains of evidence. That being said, some areas are blessed with more fresh water than others even during a time of worsening global water scarcity such as we’re now experiencing.

The Sunshine Coast is one of the lucky places with an ample fresh water supply; our annual rainfall totals (still) make us a borderline rainforest, and we have numerous lakes and aquifers to draw from. The problem is that the SCRD has over-relied on Chapman Lake as a primary water source and has failed to provide the basic infrastructure (reservoirs, pipelines, additional wells, etc.) needed to access this abundant fresh water.

Milder summers, more evenly distributed rainfall patterns, and extremely low population/development levels allowed us to get by for decades with an underfunded, inadequate, all-eggs-in-one-basket water system. All of these enabling factors have essentially vanished, seemingly (though not really) in a very short period of time.

But we are not “running out of drinkable water” here on the Coast; we have more than enough fresh water from the above-mentioned sources for all our area’s needs. What we’re running out of is time to update/create the infrastructure needed to access that water before we experience a true water catastrophe, i.e. wake up to dry taps. There’s a huge difference between these two things, and we need to be very clear about what the problem really is.

MJ Lord, Sandy Hook

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