Mayor’s Monthly Article-Water is Precious

I thought I would share a letter I received from a Salida resident.

“I am 82 years old and grew up on a dry land farm during the dust bowl.  Water was carried into and out of the house.  What was unpalatable for humans and cattle was fed to the pigs.  When I got a bath (not every day), I was the 4th in line after 2 little sisters and a brother-in the same water-in a #3 washtub.

I know that my shower today takes 2 gallons of water before it’s warm enough for comfort.  I catch that water from a faucet in gallon jugs and use it for other purposes later.  Also for the dishwasher, etc.

Some days recently I have skipped a shower and washed with a cloth and a warm basin of water, again, after catching cold water in jugs.

Too many people fail to realize that money is not the biggest concern in their use of water.  It’s running out of potable water itself.

They’re not going to listen to what you and I or anyone else have to say, including the first line of your last paragraph, but thanks for trying.

PS:  I will spare you my thoughts on manners.”

I would like to thank the resident of Salida for the unique perspective on water usage.

From time to time I have tried to focus the City Council’s Salida Comprehensive Plan discussions on the things we absolutely have to guard and enhance to protect Salida’s and Chaffee County’s future.  My short list  of those essentials are water, quality environment, affordable health care and quality education.  My concern is that we continue to see growth as the only way to sustain what we love about our home.  Yet, growth alone, without forethought, will erode the very things we love about this place.

If there is one thing I have learned from the recession is that the free market can act as an accelerator and if left to its own devices will ultimately crash the vehicle of our economy. Therefore business needs the balance of government regulation to create opportunity for all in a sustainable, not boom and bust, economy.  Finding a balance is the difficulty.   However, just because something is difficult does not mean it should not happen.

If successful we can maintain this beautiful valley.  If not we could be the last generation to benefit from this place we are so lucky to live in.

Chuck Rose

July 29, 2011