hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, July 17, 2011

About the Water

Here we are in the Northwest with a rainstorm a day.  Well, not quite, but more than people really need in the way of water from the sky, and occasional flooding and the like.  And what is Point Roberts actual biggest problem?  Water.  We don't have any of our own, somehow.  Now, the conservationists/ecologists say that water is going to be everybody's big problem in the coming decades (too much or not enough), so in that sense we are just like everyone else.  But in the Point Roberts sense, we are, of course, not just like everyone else.  We never are.  That's what it means to live in Point Roberts.  With respect to water, we have plenty of water coming out of the air and down to the ocean, but we don't have any water of our own that is potable.  There are, I'm told, a few wells still around, but that's really not a viable water source for all these folks when we have sandy soil and septic tanks everywhere.

What we have is Vancouver water.  They signed a long-term contract in the 80's to provide us with X gallons of water per day, at a price to be determined by them.  We pay for those X number of gallons every day of the year, even though there are apparently never enough of us here any of the time to use up that daily X number of gallons.  So, those extra gallons?  We pay for them and Vancouver keeps them, once we have filled our limited storage capacity.  That turns out to be a lot of water that we pay for and don't ever get.  According to the Water guy here, we pay for about twice as much water as we actually use.  And Vancouver is sorry to inform us that the price for both the used and unused water is going up dramatically in the next few years.  And the contract has another 23 years to run, and as far as I can tell, there is no reason to be sure that Vancouver will renew that contract because B.C. doesn't allow sale of water outside of B.C. any longer (it did when the original contract was signed).

So we pay for water we don't get, we are going to be paying a lot more, perhaps double or more by the end of the decade, for water we don't ever get, and then, at the end of that, we may not get any more water.  This is another serious mid- to long-term problem for us.  The Community Center repair is a short-term problem.  The library space is a mid-term problem.  By contrast, the gas tax moneys are no problem at all because they are not available to be used for much of anything that is a problem for us.  Just treats.  What's wrong with this picture?

Time to think about our problems.

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